In a stunning homage to the great women of history, TIME has created 100 covers to celebrate Women of the Year from 1920 to today. Inspired by the magazine’s Person of the Year, which until 1999 was “Man of the Year,” TIME has selected a magnificent array of women who have made a difference in the world. From politicians to activists, from athletes to artists, each woman is a trailblazer. As part of this historic project, TIME has also commissioned 49 portraits from artists around the globe.
These creatives, half of them women, were charged with producing an iconic representation of a powerful woman. For the 1987 cover, celebrated artist Yulia Brodskaya used her paper quilling skills to capture the spirit of Princess Diana. In contrast, New York-based artist Toyin Ojih Odutola acclaimed drawing abilities brought to life Beyoncé, who was named the 2014 Woman of the Year, in a joyous portrait.
“I hoped to express and retain the joy and wonder in her, the magnitude of her influence, and to illustrate how she did then as she continues to do so now: by inspiring us all to follow our creative inclinations yet never lose sight of ourselves,” Ojih Odutola shared.
From a collage of LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson to oil paintings of Jackie Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a wide variety of techniques were used to help artists express their vision of these iconic women. These special portraits sit alongside 51 other covers that both remind us of the important contributions women have made to society and encourage us to dig deeper into who these women are.
“For me, seeing women on the cover of a magazine created by men for ‘busy men,’ as TIME’s founders wrote in their original prospectus, is always powerful,” writes TIME Executive Editor and Women of the Year Editorial Director Kelly Conniff. “I joined TIME in 2012, when over the course of a year just a handful of women were featured on the cover. In 2019, TIME featured more solo women on its cover than men for the first time in our 97-year history. The world has changed and TIME has too, but there have always been women worthy of TIME’s cover.”
All 100 covers are available to view, along with essays about each woman, on the 100 Women of the Year website. A special print edition of TIME featuring a gatefold of all 100 covers is also for sale, as are prints of the 49 commissioned portraits.
TIME commissioned portraits of trailblazing women for their 100 Women of the Year project.
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (2014)
Jackie Kennedy (1962)
Aung San Suu Kyi (1990)
Oprah Winfrey (2004)
The Bus Riders (1955)
Tu Youyou (1979)
Grace Hopper (1959)
Marsha P. Johnson (1969)
Coco Chanel (1924)
Ruth Bader-Ginsburg (1996)
Toni Morrison (1993)
Wangari Maathai (2001)
Anna Walentynowicz (1980)
Rosalind Franklin (1953)
Jane Roe (1973)
Jane Fawcett and the Codebreakers (1941)
Barbara Gittings (1964)
Black Lives Matter Founders (2013)
Indira Gandhi (1976)