Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, 11 Oct 1884 - 7 Nov 1962 Search this
Gelatin silver print
Image: 31.5 × 25.5 cm (12 3/8 × 10 1/16")
Sheet: 42.8 × 35.5 cm (16 7/8 × 14")
Mount: 48.3 × 40.6 cm (19 × 16")
Mat (Karsh exhibit): 71.1 × 55.9 cm (28 × 22")
As the nation’s first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt rapidly expanded her role from hostess to advocate and emerged as a vital force in her husband Franklin’s administration. She took public stands on issues ranging from exploitive labor practices to civil rights, but more important, she often urged her husband toward measures he might otherwise have avoided. When the challenges of World War II drew the president’s attention from domestic affairs, she continued to be a strong voice for the New Deal’s social welfare policies. The activism that characterized Eleanor Roosevelt’s years as first lady did not end with her departure from the White House. As a U.S. delegate to the United Nations (1945–53), she was instrumental in formulating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and securing its ratification by the General Assembly in 1948.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s hands were seldom still, and Karsh captured their expressive qualities in this portrait.