New York

Mary Kelly


A diverse group of people—mostly, but not all, women—link arms in sodality to form a human barricade. They are clad in the sort of androgynous late-’60s and early-’70s accoutrements that now boast a certain second-generation vogue. Low-slung belted pants and peasant tunics abound, though there’s not a skirt in sight. The proceedings have a discernible gravity: One woman’s mouth is open in a yell while her associates stand by stoically. A sign held by another of the participants sets the scene: UNITE FOR WOMAN'S EMANCIPATION, its hand-lettered words read, accompanied by three vehement slashes of underlining.

Perhaps it hardly needs stating that this is a historical image, one plucked from the pages of Life magazine and documenting a 1970 Women’s Liberation demonstration, which marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment. And yet, under Mary Kelly’s care, the photograph takes

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