A History of Women Photographers by Naomi Rosenblum. Illustrated; 416 pages; hardcover. Abbeville Press, Third Edition, 2010.
In this landmark volume, Rosenblum (A World History of Photography) examines sympathetically the achievements of women in photography since its invention in 1839, and highlights society's failure to give them appropriate recognition. One research obstacle the author encountered was the 19th-century practice of men taking credit for work done by women. Here is work from 250 female camera artists, from Julia Margaret Cameron (b. 1815) to Annie Leibovitz (b. 1949), who, despite strong cultural resistance, mastered everything from early wet-plate views and portraits to 35 millimeter photojournalism, often initiating aesthetic and commercial improvements. Her chronicle of women's part in each era's artistic movements and media transitions, plus capsule biographies with an in-depth bibliography and index, make this a seminal reference work. The author's choice of 263 photographs seems to favor the esoteric, bringing to light a largely unknown world in vivid originality and broad archival conception.
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