Smithsonian Connection: Portraits of Paradox: Jane Grey Swisshelm


Even though they were made more than 20 years apart and in different mediums, on the surface the two images—an oil painting and a small photograph—share many similarities. Both show a modest-looking woman, dark hair parted in the middle, wearing a dark dress with white fabric collaring her neck. The woman is Jane Grey Swisshelm (1815–1884), a pioneering American journalist and publisher, women’s rights advocate, and abolitionist who was born in Pittsburgh and lived in the region for much of her life.

The Historical Society retains the right to reprint articles in any format or media, and retains the right to grant that permission to others.