"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Mary Steichen Calderone

This 1925 Palladium print of  Mary Steichen Calderone by Edward Steichen belongs to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
Radically progressive for her era, the physician Mary Steichen Calderone was an expert on human sexuality. This portrait, by her father the American photographer Edward Steichen, was taken around the time Calderone was a chemistry major at Vassar College. She received a medical degree from the University of Rochester (1939) and later earned a master's degree from the Columbia School of Public Health (1942). 
After serving as a public school physician, she became medical director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1953, where she persuaded the American Medical Association to instruct doctors to advise patients on reproduction, including birth control. In 1964, she left Planned Parenthood to cofound the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), an organization that has helped develop sex education programming for children and their parents. -- NPG

Read Mary Calderone's 1998 New York Times Obituary

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