(Photographic Portraits) Grand Dames New York (Wit and Privilege)


This photo spread in the May 5, 2014 issue of New York Magazine caught my attention. Alongside the power of the close-framed photographic portraits, I think it is the combination of cossetted privilege and deep, knowing human wit and intelligence that I find most interesting. More so than would have been the case had these been portraits of their husbands and sons, it is the high couture that accentuates, visually this alien form of human being. The photographic shot brings up close the picture of powerful women who otherwise enjoy the distant aura their social position confers upon them. These images are worldly-otherworldly.

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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