View Full Version : Historical women in photography

7-May-2016, 10:28
I am writing a little book about the 100 or so portraits that I have collected and from time to time, reading about women in photography, there are two trends of thought.
1. women professionals were common and it was a relatively simple and accepted thing to do. They just got disappeared in historical accounts.
2. women were isolated and unwelcome.

This was a welcome article in the Guardian

Randy Moe
7-May-2016, 10:40
His story


Winner writes Hxxstory to their viewpoint.

7-May-2016, 13:28
I think many of the lines of thought beared out in your two options are subject to political flavor that may temporarily help the publicity of contemporary writing but I'm always skeptical if the reasoning is actually accurate. I tend to be skeptical in general. A thorough subjective discussion of the topic might delve into politics. I don't know about a hundred years ago, but after WWII, photo schools were filled with returning soldiers, which were probably mostly male, utilizing the GI Bill.

Nonetheless, there are many wonderful women photographers in photo history worth reviewing. I see the article mentioned Tina Modoti, which is great; what little I have read or discussed of her is that she may have taught Weston what he needed to be successful!

I also like Gertrude Kasabier, & Anne Brigman. Study Clarence H White's students; many of them were women.

7-May-2016, 19:44
Apparently, for example, 80% of Viennese studios were run by Jewish women in 1938; (not so much in 1939)

Merg Ross
7-May-2016, 22:25
Much depends on where you look, and when you look. By 1900 in the United States an estimated 3,500 women were professional photographers and by 1911 an estimated 1,600 women were proprietors of photo studios. In California for instance, there were a number of women working at the same time during the twentieth century. Among the better known were, Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, Margrethe Mather, Alma Lavenenson and Anne Brigman. There lives are well documented. Mather had a strong influence on Edward Weston and his later work. However, there were other women working in the same area and period who have received less attention, but were also skilled in the art of photography. I'm thinking of Laura Adams (Armer) and Adelaide Hanscom (Leeson) who after marriage and children, devoted less time to their photography. Imogen Cunningham, divorced and a single mother with three sons, still found time to photograph. But that was not always the case, as evidenced by reading biographies of other women photographers.

8-May-2016, 00:35
And no mention yet of Julia Margaret Cameron?


8-May-2016, 05:54
And no mention yet of Julia Margaret Cameron?


Well the article did mention her, but was mainly about women who were recognized in their time but had been forgotten.
Her one Edward Curtis's wife, Clara, ran his studio while he gallivanted around the west; and after their divorce she continued to run the Seattle studio with her sister, Nellie M. Phillips .

8-May-2016, 07:00
In our own day: Marie Cosindas -- the greatest of all color photographers.

8-May-2016, 12:18
In our own day: Marie Cosindas -- the greatest of all color photographers.
Yes I remember "Sailors Key West".

David Lobato
8-May-2016, 13:23
I highly suggest you add Laura Gilpin.

Bob Salomon
8-May-2016, 13:43
Margret Bourke White, Mary Ellen Mark

Jim Jones
8-May-2016, 14:01
Ruth Bernhard!

Mark Sampson
8-May-2016, 17:23
Read what Bill Jay has had to say about women in 19th-century photography. (Read anything Bill Jay wrote, for that matter.) This thread will run many pages before you run out of accomplished women photographers to mention.

8-May-2016, 17:24
There were always a few women photographers, from the earliest eras. There were also women inventors, soldiers, business tycoons, artists, musicians....but you must remember they were few and far between because all cultures of the world saw the women's place as in the home.

Merg Ross
8-May-2016, 18:33
....but you must remember they were few and far between because all cultures of the world saw the women's place as in the home.

Exactly, and what I was alluding to in my short remarks above............ marriage and children played a large role. If the op was seeking a list of great female photographers, then as Mark suggests, this thread will run many pages!

8-May-2016, 18:39
No I was just presenting a news article about Women who have been truly forgotten. Most of the women that have been mentioned are fairly well known,

10-May-2016, 12:02
Anna Atkins was one of the earliest female photographers that I am aware of.

10-May-2016, 14:09
Ah yes, thanks for reminding me of her.

arca andy
8-Aug-2016, 16:01
Don't forget Lee Miller...Awesome photographer.