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Behind 'Obama's People': In the Footsteps of Richard Avedon
source: New York Times magazine

washington monument
The photographer Nadav Kander at the Washington Monument earlier this month.
Arianne Teeple for The New York Times

George W. Bush's people were more diverse than Jimmy Carter's and no less so than Bill Clinton's. And of course, in 10 or 20 or 50 years, Kander's portraits might not say "diversity" at all to a viewer; informed by events we cannot foresee, the pictures will come to be freighted with as-yet-unknowable meanings and to trigger undivinable emotions, though, being photographs, they undoubtedly will become poignant: all such portraits grow increasingly elegiac, making their way toward their ultimate fate, in a desk drawer or attic pile, as memento mori.

That's for then. For now, it's a singular moment - that's what inspired us as much as anything else to undertake this special issue. Better to ponder the photographs generously, expectantly, one at a time.