The first woman Speaker of the House. The first female combat veteran. The first Native American women. The first Muslim women. The first openly gay member of the Senate. These are just some of the remarkable firsts represented by the women of the 116th Congress, the most diverse and inclusive in American history.
Just over a century ago, Jeannette Rankin of Montana won a seat in the House of Representatives, becoming the first woman ever elected to federal office. In 1917, 128 years after the first United States Congress convened, she was sworn into its 65th session.
One hundred and two years later, one has become 131 - the number of women serving in both chambers of the 116th Congress as of 2019.
For most of recorded American history, political power has looked a certain way. But the 2018 midterm elections brought a seismic change. This book documents the women of the 116th Congress in their totality, photographed in the style of historical portrait paintings commonly seen in the halls of power to highlight the stark difference between how we've historically viewed governance and how it has evolved.
The Women of the 116th Congress is a testament to what representation in the United States looks and sounds like in 2019 - and the possibilities of what it may look like in the years to come.