Fiona Gardner
New York Times Portfolio
New York Times City Room article
Meet Miss Subways exhibition, Rush Arts Gallery, New York

Note: I am actively seeking former Miss Subways to photograph for a forthcoming book. Please contact me at if you know anyone who might be interested.

Miss Subways was a beauty contest run by the Subways Advertising committee from 1941–1976. Every month, a different woman was crowned Miss Subways and featured on subway placards throughout the city. The contest was remarkable for the diversity of the women who were selected. The first black Miss Subways was crowned in 1947, which was 36 years before a black Miss America. The first Asian Miss Subways was in 1949.The Miss Subways contest focused on the careers and aspirations of everyday, working women.

Over the last year, I have been tracking down former Miss Subways to photograph them in the places where they live and work now. Writer Amy Zimmer is collaborating with me to interview these women and examine how their current lives compare to their past aspirations. Presented here is a selection of the photographs.

A portfolio of the "Miss Subways" series ran in The New York Times City section on Sunday, Dec. 30th, 2007.