This photograph of Earhart (1897-1937) is surprising in its humanity and candidness. Instead of being heroicized, as cultural icons are expected to be, she appears slightly bashful and unsure, posing with tomboyish awkwardness in front of her single-engine Lockheed Vega at Wheeler Field, Hawaii. On January 11, 1935, seven days after this photograph was taken, Earhart made her historic solo flight in this plane from Hawaii to Oakland, California--the first solo flight from Hawaii to the mainland. Two years later, she disappeared during an attempt to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe.
Inscription: Various stamps and labels on verso indicating that work was owned and deaccessioned by "Culver Pictures, Inc." (see photocopy of verso in object file); stamped in blue ink on print, verso, LRC: "6019"
Culver Pictures, Inc.; James Danziger Gallery
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 14," September 9, 1996–December 9, 1996.
International Center of Photography. "Amelia Earhart: From Image to Icon," May 11, 2007–September 9, 2007.
Barnett, Erin, and Kristen Lubben, ed. Amelia Earhart: Image and Icon. New York: International Center of Photography, 2007. p. 100, pl. 42.
The Encyclopedia Brittancia illustarates Earhart with a more conventional Culver Pictures portrait, wearing the same aviator's jacket but seen close up.