Most of the portraits are photographic, although a few are drawings and two are sculpted busts. In several cases, the photographer was or has become as prominent as the writer whom they captured. Willa Cather is pictured in a 1927 photo by Edward Steichen. Peter Hujar took the 1975 image of Susan Sontag. David Attie snapped the 1959 portrait of Lorraine Hansberry. And the 1961 photo of poet Anne Sexton in her “writing nook” was shot by Rollie McKenna, known for her portraits of mid-century writers and artists, especially Dylan Thomas and Sylvia Plath (who is, strangely, not among the women featured in Her Story, though the NPG does hold a gelatin silver print of her famous 1959 portrait).
The exhibition will run though January 18, 2021.