In mid-nineteenth-century America, the growing presence of women in public life coincided with the rise of portrait photography.

This exhibition of daguerreotypes and ambrotypes from the 1840s and 1850s features portraits of early feminist icons, women’s rights advocates Margaret Fuller and Lucy Stone, abolitionist Lucretia Mott and best-selling author Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Ann Shumard, the National Portrait Gallery’s senior curator of photographs, is the curator of this exhibition.