All Episodes

Why Gordon Parks’ Most Famous Photo Almost Wasn’t Released

This iconic photo by Gordon Parks was once considered too controversial to be published.

How an FBI Poster Became a Black Power Symbol

How an FBI Wanted poster turned Angela Davis into a symbol of Black Power and liberation.

This Photo of U.S. Immigration Isn’t What You Think

An iconic photograph representing the immigrant experience is more than meets the eye.

This Photo Isn’t What It Looks Like

Unravel the mystery behind an iconic photograph of Blackfeet tribe leader Mountain Chief.

The Real Story Behind This Iconic 9/11 Photo

The story behind “Raising the Flag at Ground Zero,” an iconic photo taken on September 11.

The Story Behind Earth’s Most Famous Photo

Find out how “Blue Marble,” NASA’s iconic photo of a fully illuminated Earth, was taken.

Did This Photo Make Lincoln President?

What can a portrait of Abraham Lincoln tell us about the spectacle of politics today?

About The Bigger Picture

Images can tell powerful stories. One iconic photograph can symbolize an entire era. But if we expand the frame and examine the moment in which it was taken, a very different story can emerge. In this series of documentary shorts, Harvard University historian Dr. Vincent Brown meets with curators, photographers and other experts to challenge common assumptions about iconic American images.

Other shows you may enjoy

American Experience
History Detectives
Story of China
Queen Elizabeth's Secret Agents
American Masters
In Their Own Words