Skip to main content

As a public health precaution, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will temporarily close to the public starting Saturday, March 14 until further notice. Please continue to check back frequently at npg.si.edu or si.edu for updates. In the meantime, please explore our website, resource materials and online exhibitions. 

Rachel Louise Carson

Rachel Louise Carson
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1898 - 25 Aug 1995
Sitter
Rachel Louise Carson, 27 May 1907 - 14 Apr 1964
Date
1962
Type
Photograph
Medium
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions
Image/Sheet: 27.7 x 20.5cm (10 7/8 x 8 1/16")
Mat: 45.7 x 35.6cm (18 x 14")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Copyright
© Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Object number
NPG.2006.79
Exhibition Label
Although it was Rachel Carson's lyricism as a writer that made her books national best sellers, she was always proud of her work as a scientist. In 1936, when she accepted her first full-time job, as a marine biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, she was one of only two female professionals at the agency. Alfred Eisenstaedt's 1962 portrait-created for a profile in Life magazine-shows Carson behind a microscope at her Silver Spring, Maryland, home. Earlier that year, Carson had published Silent Spring, an investigation into the harm of man-made pollutants that placed her at the center of a fiery battle between the chemical industry and a growing legion of environmental supporters. Carson's book caught the attention of President John Kennedy, who ordered a further investigation that confirmed her findings and helped pave the way for dramatic changes in the use of pesticides.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Place
United States\Maryland\Montgomery\Silver Spring