Gelatin silver print
Image: 17.1 x 12 cm (6 3/4 x 4 3/4 in.); Paper: 17.7 x 12.6 cm (6 15/16 x 4 15/16 in.)
Gift of William and Margaret Lipscomb 2021.212
Frances Perkins was the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet.
Perkins, a recognized expert in workplace safety and the health of workers, was appointed Secretary of Labor by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. A tireless advocate for the working person, she helped craft the Social Security Act and Fair Labor Standards Act and advocated for (and saw become law) a forty-hour work week, unemployment compensation, minimum wage, and other important policies. Bourke-White depicted Perkins seated at a desk piled with papers, but she is caught in contemplation rather than action.
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