Jane Fonda Gets Candid On Her 'Woke' History, Celebrating 60 Years Since Vogue Cover

Left: Jane Fonda photographed by Irving Penn,  Vogue , July 1959; Left: Fonda in 2018, photo credit Getty Images.  via Vogue US

Left: Jane Fonda photographed by Irving Penn, Vogue, July 1959; Left: Fonda in 2018, photo credit Getty Images. via Vogue US

Bridget Read interviews Jane Fonda about 60 years of activism , looking totally fab in her 80s and her first Vogue cover shot by master artist Irving Penn in July 1959.

We learn that Fonda actually worked for Irving Penn for a year, acting as his assistant at age 19. How thrilling! The Vogue cover shoot was a year before the actor’s first film ‘Tall Story’. She was wearing lipstick-color gloves available at Saks Fifth Avenue and a “spice brown” rinse in her hair.

Jane was studying at the time with Lee Strasberg and assigned to the Eileen Ford Agency as a model to pay for her acting classes. “If you had told me at that time that at age 81 I would again be on the cover of Vogue, I would’ve told you you were out of your mind, that that was completely and utterly impossible,” Jane tells Briget Read. Fonda continues:

My image of women was that they were victims and not very powerful, and my dad didn’t encourage me, or make me feel I was attractive. I mean, everything was a surprise to me. I was surprised that I got cast in a movie. I was surprised that I was ever accepted as a model at Eileen Ford’s agency and surprised that I ever ended up on the cover of Vogue. So my life has just been one big surprise for me.

It fact it wasn’t Jane Fonda’s visit to Angela Davis in the Marin Couny Jail that propelled her into activism. Nor was it her ‘radical’ husband Tom Hayden’s state assembly campaign in California. Fonda became an uber progressive in Paris, hanging with American GIs who had served in Vietnam. They had become resistors and gave the blooming model a book to read by Jonathan Schell called ‘The Village of Ben Suc’. There was no turning back after reading that book.

This interview gets better and better, as Fonda and Read discuss what it is to be ‘woke’. Read on at Vogue.

Liberal School Board Votes To Destroy Revolutionary Mural Showing Washington's Slaves For Being 'Racist'

Just one of 13 panels in Victor Arnautoff’s ‘The Life of Washington’ set to be destroyed by San Francisco School Board for being racist.

Just one of 13 panels in Victor Arnautoff’s ‘The Life of Washington’ set to be destroyed by San Francisco School Board for being racist.

In a decision that has inflamed passions around art censorship — even among liberals — the San Francisco School Board has voted to paint over the 83-year-old mural ‘The Life of Washington’, painted by Victor Arnautoff, a New Deal muralist celebrated for his accurate telling of American history.

In addition to depicting Washington as a storied soldier, surveyor, statesman and signer of the Declaration of Independence, the 13-panel, 1,600-square foot mural at George Washington High School features disruptive images of white men standing over the body of a Native American as well as slaves working at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.

Arnautoff’s refusal to omit the more controversial aspects of Washington’s history were designed to call attention to “uncomfortable facts” about America’s first president.

“We on the left ought to welcome the honest portrayal,” Richard Walker, a professor emeritus of geography at the University of California, Berkeley and director of the history project, Living New Deal said, adding that destroying a piece of art “is the worst way we can deal with historic malfeasance, historic evils.”

Mark Sanchez, vice president of the school board and a third-grade teacher, said students who must walk past the mural during the school day don’t have a choice about seeing the harmful images. “Painting it over represents not only a symbolic fresh start, but a real fresh start,” writes TIME

Lope Yap, Jr., vice president of the Washington High School Alumni Association and a 1970 graduates, disagreed, saying when he was a student and saw the mural he was “awed by the subtle ways Arnautoff was able to critique American history.” He said the depictions are “treasures, priceless art” and painting it over is tantamount to pretending the history depicted never happened.

AOC covered the controversy in-depth in May. One assumes that a lawsuit will be filed, especially over concerns about a growing trend to destroy art deemed racist or offensive by groups of America’s diverse population. Calling such a factually correct, and revolutionary at the time artwork “racist” sends chills up and down the spines of Americans clamoring for historical honesty in public spaces.

The New York Times has a program inviting students to critique and engage in dialogue around controversial issues like this one. The edited commentary equally represents both sides, but as the NYTimes writes, what’s most encouraging is the dialogue among students with diverse viewpoints. Inspiring — even if the controversy is not. ~ Anne