- A cracked-glass portrait of Kamala Harris has been unveiled at the Lincoln Memorial in DC.
- Artist Simon Berger used glass in the piece to represent Harris’ role as a “glass ceiling breaker.”
- Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff called the installation “incredible” after seeing it in person.
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A new portrait of Kamala Harris made out of cracked glass celebrates her historic election as the first female, Black, and South Asian-American vice president of the US.
On Friday, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff made the trip from Pennsylvania Avenue to the National Mall to see the installation for himself.
“It’s incredible,” he tweeted of the 6.5 x 6.5-foot portrait.
— Douglas Emhoff (@SecondGentleman) February 5, 2021
To create the portrait, Berger lightly hammered sheets of laminated glass while referencing a photo of Harris taken by photographer Celeste Sloman, according to a press release from the National Women’s History Museum, which presented the piece and cosponsored the project with Chief, a private network for women executives and CEOs.
The museum’s press release says the cracked glass is meant to represent Harris’ breaking through the “glass ceiling,” a term that refers to the barriers women and minorities face when it comes to career advancement.
“This will just be a wonderful visual emblem of this moment in time and hopefully people will reflect a little bit on all the barriers that have been broken by her election,” Holly Hotchner, president and CEO of the National Women’s History Museum, told the Associated Press, speaking of the portrait of Harris.
The installation also includes a QR code that visitors can scan with their phones to learn about other “historic firsts” Harris has achieved throughout her career, including being the first vice president to graduate from a historically Black college; Harris graduated from Howard University in 1986.
In her victory speech on November 7, Harris said that a woman becoming vice president broke “one of the most substantial barriers that exists in our country.”
She also acknowledged the influence that women who came before her had on her career, paying tribute to “the generations of women â€” Black women, Asian, White, Latina, and Native American women throughout our nation’s history who have paved the way for this moment tonight â€” women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and justice for all.”
Speaking of those women, she added: “Tonight, I reflect on their struggle, their determination and the strength of their vision â€” to see what can be unburdened by what has been â€” I stand on their shoulders.”
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last,” she later said in the same speech. “Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”
“Vice President Kamala Harris Glass Ceiling Breaker” will be on display at the Lincoln Memorial through Saturday, February 6, after which it will move to Chief’s headquarters in New York City.