Who’s Afraid of Women Photographers?

(via LensCulture)

The Parisian museum L’Orangerie is showcasing an eye-opening retrospective on 19th century photographs shot by women photographers. From Julia Margaret Cameron, Dorothea Lange, to Helen Levitt and Tina Modotti, and more. These women have proven centuries later that their images remain exemplary in their power to remain ground-breaking in an era of confinement.

Now, the exhibition also does an excellent job of avoiding the polemical—this is not about women equalling men, either technically or artistically. Instead, the show focuses on how female photographers deserve more of our interest because they played such an important role in pushing the boundaries of what could be photographed. What is emphasized, then, is the specificity of photographs as they were beginning to be made by women for the first time.

“Who’s Afraid of Women Photographers” is a two-part exhibition; the first part of the 19th century retrospective covers 1839-1919, and select images from 1918-1945 will be displayed at Musee D’Orsay. Both shows will run until January 24, 2016. If you are close to Paris, I encourage all to spend their time to see this show before it is over, and please do share your images with us!


Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879). Vivien and Merlin. © Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt.
Elfriede Stegemeyer (1908-1988). Self Portrait, 1933. © Digital Image Museum Associates/LACMA/Art Resource NY/Scala, Florence.
Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952). Self-portrait as a transvestite velocipedist, 1890-1900. © Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.
Regina Relang (1895-1989). Beim Rennen in Longchamp, 1936. © Münchner Stadtmuseum, Sammlung Fotografie, Archiv Relang.

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