The Editors | Gallery

Mothers of Invention

We're celebrating mothers with a visual ode to mothers who delivered history. There are many, many mothers not on this list, and many, many more women who have made amazing contributions to culture and society. But let this list be an inspiration. And go call your mother!

Valentina Nikolayeva-Tereshkova and her daughter Alyonka speaking with Andrian Nikolaev at Mission Control. © Vladimir Akimov / Sputnik

The Mother of Space Travel: Valentina Tereshkova
As Americans, we often think of Sally Ride as the first woman in space, but in June 1963 Valentina Tereshkova set the record. And just one year later she gave birth to her daughter, Elena Andrianovna Nikolaeva-Tereshkova, who grew up to be a doctor.

Cipe Pineles, William Golden, and their son, Thomas Pineles Golden.

The Mother of Editorial Design: Cipe Pineles
The graphic design career of Cipe Pineles began when she was installed by Condé Nast himself in the office of M.F. Agha, art director for Condé Nast publications Vogue, Vanity Fair, and House and Garden. Through the 1930s and early 1940s, Pineles learned editorial art direction from one of the masters of the era, and became (at Glamour) the first autonomous woman art director of a mass-market American publication. She is credited with other “firsts” as well as being an AIGA Medalist in 1996. And she was a lovely mother of a son and daughter.

The Mother of Entertainment: Josephine Baker
You likely know that Josephine Baker was an amazing entertainer, possibly you know her as the first African-American woman to appear in a major motion picture, or maybe for her famous "banana costume", but did you know she adopted 12 children from many countries that she called "The Rainbow Tribe"? She wanted to prove that children could be happy and love one another despite different backgrounds and ethnicities.

Anne Lindbergh pictured with three of her children: Reeve, Anne and Scott (left to right) in 1950.

The Mother of Flight: Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Married to one of the most famous pilots in history, and mother to one of the most tragically famous children in history, Anne Lindbergh was a pilot in her own right, and mother of 5, which is quite it's own accomplishment.

Victoria Woodhull (driving), son Byron Woodhull and daughter Zula Maud Woodhull (photo taken 1915)

The Mother of Optimism: Victoria Woodhull
Married at 15 to an alcoholic and a womanizer, Victoria Woodhull dedicated her life to women's rights, especially as it regarded love. "I have an inalienable, constitutional and natural right to love whom I may, to love as long or as short a period as I can; to change that love every day if I please, and with that right neither you nor any law you can frame have any right to interfere," she famously stated. She was the first female presidential candidate, and mother of two.

Anna Mary Robertson Moses with two of her children

The Mother of Reinvention: Anna Mary (Grandma) Moses
Her paintings hang in museums worldwide, are highly sought by private collectors, and even hang in the White House. Grandma Moses was a prolific painter who didn't begin her art career in earnest until she was 78. Possibly because she was a mother to 10 children. Sadly only 5 of them survived infancy.

The Mother of Modern India: Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi spent her life dedicated to the people and policies of India, especially her two sons.

Jobs | May 30