This powerful group photography exhibition focuses on the work of women photographers from the 1920s through the 1950s. According to the curators of the show, although women had actively participated in the development of photography soon after its inception in the 19th century, it wasn’t until the 1920s, after World War I, that there was a dramatic increase in women working in the field of photography. As the show reveals, many of these women photographers would bring innovation to a range of photographic genres: from avant-garde experimentation and commercial studio practice to social documentary, photojournalism, ethnography, and the recording of sports, dance, and fashion.
According to Mia Fineman, a curator in the department of photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the venue that first showed this exhibition, the show also reveals how photography provided many of these women a new sense of freedom. “For women during this period, the camera was really a means of independence and self-determination. It allowed them to create images from their own perspective and it also allowed them to create a source of income to support themselves financially.”
The list of the photographers featured in this ground-breaking exhibition, which looks at this period in a global context, includes Berenice Abbott, Ilse Bing, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Florestine Perrault Collins, Imogen Cunningham, Madame d’Ora, Florence Henri, Elizaveta Ignatovich, Consuelo Kanaga, Germaine Krull, Dorothea Lange, Dora Maar, Tina Modotti, Niu Weiyu, Tsuneko Sasamoto, Gerda Taro, and Homai Vyarawalla.
Where: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC