Editor's Picks / Featured

Meet ‘Miss Subway’, the ultimate New York women from 1941 – 1976

The Art Dossier on June 29, 2012 with 0 Comments

Enid Berkowitz Schwarzbaum Miss Subways July 1946 (via Meet Miss Subways Kickstarter page)

Did you know that from 1941 until 1976 there were portraits of real and extraordinary everyday woman who were crowned ‘Miss Subway’ hanging in every NYC subway train? The title was bestowed upon women who earned this distinction due to their intellectual and professional merits on top of their good looks.

Now artist Fiona Gardner and journalist Amy Zimmer hope to publish a book of photographs of these subway babes then and now. The two artists compiled a short film in order to document the process of tracking these women down to see where they are now and put together a book about their journey from ‘Miss Subway’ to the present day. Andy Cush from Animal takes a look:

A brief description of each woman’s interests and aspirations appeared next to a glamorous headshot. “Enthusiastically enjoys sailing, skiing, Mozart, and Katherine Hepburn,” reads one. “Got Columbia’s M.S. degree. Her articles have appeared in national magazines,” boasts another. The project’s racial politics were relatively progressive as well, featuring black, Asian, and Hispanic women from 1948 on.

Brooklyn-based artist [Fiona Gardner] and journalist Amy Zimmer hope to publish Meet Miss Subways, a book of present-day portraits and interviews with 40 former winners, and they’re looking to the internet for help. The portraits themselves are joyous, rich in detail and personal affect, and the interviews will examine “changing role of women in American life, civil rights struggles, and even the subway system itself,” according to the project’s Kickstarter page. There’s 24 days left of funding, and they’ve reached $1,328 of their $13,000 goal so far. (via Animal)

Read more and see the video the two artists compiled about the process and project to get in touch with all of the former ‘Miss Subways” to see where they are now here.