The Collars of RBG: A Portrait of Justice

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    by Elinor Carucci

    The collar is a powerful point of entry for exploring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and her tireless work on America’s highest court. The twenty-five neckpieces captured here—in over eighty stunning photographs by award-winning photographer Elinor Carucci—hoffer insight into RBG’s legacy. Her sharp use of language, a linchpin of her notorious dissents, is celebrated throughout, with quotes to support each collar and its story. The bold, ornate, and subversive collars she chose to wear on the bench communicated so much more. Shortly after RBG’s passing in September, 2020, Carucci was commissioned by Time magazine for a commemorative piece on the late justice, focused on the stories behind her legendary collars. Here, Carucci and co-author Sara Bader use each collar to highlight a defining career moment, from RBG’s earliest argument for gender equality to her support of immigration and marriage equality throughout her twenty-seven years on the bench. Some of her collars are well-known, like her dissent collar, or her favorite white beaded neckpiece that she wore for important portraits. Other collars are less familiar but tell poignant stories of artists, colleagues, friends, and fans whose gifts to Justice Ginsburg found meaning in her hands. Small in stature but towering in influence, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was described as a titan, a civil rights hero, and most poetically, by her colleague Justice Stephen Breyer, “a rock of righteousness.” The Collars of RBG is an artful collection of moments from this warrior’s legacy, crystallizing the many ways RBG reshaped the cultural landscape for us all.

    The Jewish Museum presents RBG Collars: Photographs by Elinor Carucci, an installation of two dozen photographs of former US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s collars and necklaces taken by the contemporary photographer Elinor Carucci (Israeli, b. 1971) shortly after Ginsburg’s death in 2020. The suite of photographs is being shown at the Jewish Museum for the first time since they were acquired for the Museum’s collection in 2021. RBG Collars: Photographs by Elinor Carucci will be on view a from December 15, 2023, through May 28, 2024.

    224 pages


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