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Estherville native's portrait of Civil Rights Icon in Smithsonian

October 17, 2017
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer , Estherville News

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Estherville native and 1973 graduate of Estherville High School, Daniel Bagan's portrait of Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes has been acquired as part of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery permanent collection.

With the acquisition of a new photographic portrait into its collection, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery validates the historic significance and power of the re-enactment of their "Raised Fists" statement of equal rights for women and blacks. More than 45 years since the original Dan Winn image appeared in "Esquire" magazine, their message has not dimmed with age.

"The moment was right, the women were dynamically engaged in their iconic stance, and the result was inspiring," said Bagan. "Even decades later, their power and beauty show no sign of age, just wisdom reflected in a soft smile."

Article Photos

The partnership between Steinem and Pitman Hughes began in the early 1970s as the pair took to the podium to discuss the importance of intersectional feminism. Together they founded "Ms. Magazine" and the Women's Action Alliance. Decades later, the impact of their partnership has not waned. Steinem and Pitman Hughes remain an inspiration to activists across the country as they continue to push for racial and gender equality.

Smithsonian officials have yet to announce plans for exhibiting the new portrait in the gallery. In addition to the Smithsonian, Bagan's portrait can be found in the Museum of the City of New York's exhibit Beyond Suffrage: A Century of New York Women in Politics October 2017- June 2018.

About Dan Bagan

The Bagan family goes back to the 1800's in Estherville and Emmet County, many will remember his father Earl's, "Bagan & Sons" Men's Clothing Store. Bagan has lived in Connecticut, Arizona and California before settling in St. Augustine, Florida.

He is a self-taught studio photographer known for his powerful character studies. He recently launched the "Age of Beauty Project" creating portraits of women between the ages of 50-100.

The Project will produce a book titled "Age Of Beauty " a social commentary on beauty and age. Bagan speaks with women over fifty almost every day, and many say they feel invisible, that they no longer see themselves as beautiful. Bagan hopes the exhibition of his portraits show that real beauty transcends the Madison Avenue definition of thin, smooth and young.



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