Wonder Woman Comic
1941, Smithsonian Libraries

“Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength and power,” psychologist William Moulton Marston wrote in 1943. He had already modeled a new archetype on his wife and fellow psychologist, Elizabeth Holloway Marston, and Olive Byrne, a homemaker who lived with the Marstons in a relationship that included shared children. Wonder Woman, a magic-lasso-toting dispenser of justice, broke the superhero glass ceiling in All Star Comics in December 1941.

(via 101 Objects that Made America | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine)

Andy Warhol’s Michael Jackson 1984, National Portrait Gallery

Jackson’s 1982 solo album, Thriller—still the best-selling recording of all time—vaulted the King of Pop into the stratosphere of fame. Time magazine commissioned Warhol, the godfather of the Pop Art movement and ultimate arbiter of celebrity culture, to create a silk-screen-on-canvas portrait of Jackson in 1984. The result was an instant classic, but not everyone was a fan. “I finished the Michael Jackson cover,” Warhol said, adding, “I didn’t like it.” The cover, he felt, “should have had more blue. I gave them [the editors] some in the style of the [Jane, Peter and Henry] Fonda cover I did for Time once, but they wanted this style.”

(via 101 Objects that Made America | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine)