This article discusses iconic visual images of three powerful women: the Virgin of the Apocalypse, as painted by eighteenth-century indigenous Mexican artist Manuel Cabrera; Marlene Dietrich; and Dolores del Ríío. In Cabrera's work, the Virgin Mary is depicted with wings, actively protecting her child and her people with great energy——almost the opposite of better-known images of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Artfully controlling her own image, Dietrich quietly flaunted her sexual power over the young John Wayne. Finally, del Ríío used her image and extraordinary beauty to change the way American audiences perceived Latina women. Although she violated most of the gender-based expectations for Mexican women in her personal life, del Ríío maintained her image as a great lady (not the typical Hollywood image of a Mexican ““spitfire””). Catholic filmmaker John Ford even chose to portray her as the Virgin Mary. These images made, and still make, a difference.
Research Article| February 01 2008
Images of Women and Power
Linda B. Hall
Linda B. Hall
The author is a member of the history department at the University of New Mexico. This was her presidential address at the annual meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association, in Honolulu, Hawai'i, on July 26, 2007.
Search for other works by this author on:
Pacific Historical Review (2008) 77 (1): 1–18.
- Views Icon Views
- PDF LinkPDF
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Linda B. Hall; Images of Women and Power. Pacific Historical Review 1 February 2008; 77 (1): 1–18. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/phr.2008.77.1.1
Download citation file:
Citing articles via
Review: The Chinese and the Iron Road: Building the Transcontinental Railroad, edited by Gordon H. Chang and Shelley Fisher Fiskin; Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, by Gordon H. Chang; Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project, by Gordon H. Chang et al.
Review: In Search of Our Frontier: Japanese America and Settler Colonialism in the Construction of Japan’s Borderless Empire, by Eiichiro Azuma; Liminality of the Japanese Empire: Border Crossings from Okinawa to Colonial Taiwan, by Hiroko Matsuda; The Making of Japanese Settler Colonialism: Malthusianism and Trans-Pacific Migration, 1868–1961, by Sidney Xu Lu; Unsustainable Empire: Alternative Histories of Hawai‘i Statehood, by Dean Itsuji Saranillio