Help me find pics of great leaders
September 10, 2010 2:51 PM   Subscribe

Help me decorate my office with posters and pictures of inspirational figures.

I would like to decorate my office with images of famous human rights activists, civil rights leaders, and great thinkers like Gandhi, MLK, Mandela, Lincoln, Marie Curie, Einstein.

a) Please suggest people I should include, especially women and people of color.

b) Please point me at posters or images that are NOT CHEESY. I just want a nice picture of Martin Luther King Jr. I do not want a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. with a quote in Papyrus plastered on it.

c) Please suggest ways I can display a number of these images in a small office with white walls without it looking cluttered or overpowering.
posted by bq to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I do not want a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. with a quote in Papyrus plastered on it.

I hear you. But this poster is incredible. The part at the bottom is the whole text of the I have a dream speech, but it is see through . . . you can read it, or look at the picture. (I have it, I love it, I read it often.)

Or you could take a look at these.

Here's a couple of Nelson Mandela.

I'm a great admirer of Golda Meir -- don't know if you are.

This is an iconic view of Ghandi.

Re Abraham Lincoln: this one is beautiful.

I own this Einstein poster, and I like it, but here's another option without quotes.

Would you be interested in a poster of Golda Meir?

I'd also suggest Anwar Sadat.
posted by bearwife at 3:11 PM on September 10, 2010

Um . . . I screwed up my editing, but the Sadat and Meir suggestions are all different, not doubles.

If you're OK with a painting, I'd also suggest Elizabeth I.
posted by bearwife at 3:15 PM on September 10, 2010

You could take a page from Leslie Knope's office on Parks N Rec and have pics of Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, and Margaret Thatcher.
posted by parkerjackson at 3:17 PM on September 10, 2010

OK, I will shut up and leave you alone after this, but re displaying: what often works well to create visual interest is varying frame size. E.g. large poster of Lincoln, flanked by smaller or much smaller posters/photos of King and Mandela.

You can also put up depictions of their work or product rather than the person. For example, I have a framed page of Mozart's music on one of my walls.
posted by bearwife at 3:29 PM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Barbara Jordan

Wilma Mankiller
posted by rtha at 4:04 PM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Not exactly a world leader, but the Michael Jordan "I've Failed" poster is one I wish I had after seeing it on the wall in a past workplace.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:23 PM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Don't forget Helen Keller. Radical socialist, feminist, and general thorn in the side of those who need thorns stuck in them.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 4:25 PM on September 10, 2010

My late MIL had a wonderful lithograph (?) of Mother Jones, which included this quotation: "Pray for the dead. Fight like hell for the living." This is not it, but has something of its spirit.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:35 PM on September 10, 2010

I second Anwar Sadat.

I would also add Steve Biko.
posted by Max Power at 4:56 PM on September 10, 2010

This one is pretty good, though.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:57 PM on September 10, 2010

Wilma Mankiller!
posted by PinkMoose at 6:31 PM on September 10, 2010

Anagram Press (whom I adore) has a Dead Feminists series of letterpress art featuring, well, dead feminists. This poster of Harriet Tubman is lovely. However, I think you're more interested in photographic images rather than illustration or painting, though, maybe something more like this: Mary McLeod Bethune?

I think Barewalls has some you might be interested in from their National Archives category:

Angela Davis
Akira Kurosawa
Amelia Earhart
Richard Wright
George Washington Carver
Helen Keller
Civil Rights leaders at the Lincoln Memorial

As for how to display them: I like really simple black frames to cut down on visual clutter and bring the focus on the images. Also, it might be interesting if you found, say, a dozen posters you like and rotate maybe 3-4 of them on your walls periodically: you'll still get lots of images, a clean look, and fresh displays every month (or however frequently you wish to swap them out).
posted by vespertine at 7:53 PM on September 10, 2010

I love this Woody Guthrie poster.
posted by naoko at 11:59 PM on September 10, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you so much - these are great suggestions. I'll be doing some shopping soon!
posted by bq at 6:21 PM on September 12, 2010

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