The New Woman Behind the Camera

An in-depth look at the many ways women around the world helped shape modern photography from the 1920s to the 1950s as they captured images of a radically changing world

During the 1920s the New Woman was easy to recognize but hard to define. Hair bobbed and fashionably dressed, this iconic figure of modernity was everywhere, splashed across magazine pages or projected on the silver screen. A global phenomenon, she embodied an ideal of female empowerment based on real women making revolutionary changes in life and art–including photography.

This groundbreaking, richly illustrated book looks at those “new women” who embraced the camera as a mode of expression and made a profound impact on the medium from the 1920s to the 1950s. Thematic chapters explore how women emerged as a driving force in modern photography, bringing their own perspective to artistic experimentation, studio portraiture, fashion and advertising work, scenes of urban life, ethnography and photojournalism.

Featuring work by 120 photographers, this volume expands the history of photography by critically examining an international array of canonical and less well-known women photographers, from Berenice Abbott, Dorothea Lange and Lola Álvarez Bravo to Germaine Krull, Tsuneko Sasamoto and Homai Vyarawalla. Against the odds, these women produced invaluable visual testimony that reflects both their personal experiences and the extraordinary social and political transformations of the era.

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This collection of photography illustrates the notion of the “New Woman”–with her hair bobbed and a desirable sartorial flair–and how she infiltrated the world of experimental picture making, studio portraiture, photojournalism, and other means of image making in the 1920s-50s. A bevy of female photographers are featured, both well-known and not.–David Saric “S Magazine”

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[The New Woman Behind the Camera] poses important, and often nuanced, questions alongside some of the most influential and inspiring early works of female photographers.–Dani Martin “Musee”

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This book looks at those diverse “new women” who embraced the camera as a mode of expression and made a profound impact on the medium from the 1920s to the 1950s. Thematic chapters explore how women emerged as a driving force in modern photography, bringing multiple perspectives to artistic experimentation, studio portraiture, fashion and advertising work, scenes of urban life, ethnography, and photojournalism.–Editors “L’Oeil de la Photographie”

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The overall landscape of this catalog with its global focus, large and plentiful photographs, and an index of short biographies of many, but not all, of the photographers in the exhibition, yields an excellent reference text. While monographs on several of these photographers exist, the cumulative approach of Nelson and the other authors’ research as instantiations of the New Woman phenomenon gives this subject the air of fresh territory.–Beverly Mitchell “ARLIS/NA Reviews”

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In the first half of the twentieth century, female photographers emerged as a powerful force[…]Pictures by some hundred and twenty photographers from more than twenty countries are on view.–Andrea K. Scott “New Yorker”

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For centuries before they went New, women had been objectified and observed as few men were likely to be. Picking up the camera didn’t pull eyes away from a New Woman; it could put her all the more clearly on view. But thanks to photography, she could begin to look back, with power, at the world around her.–Blake Gopnik “New York Times”

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Women photographers and their work celebrated in an alternate history of photography.– “CBS: News”

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Despite their groundbreaking achievements in the 20th century, female architects still struggle to receive recognition in a male-dominated field. Spotlighting 36 contemporary women architects and some of their most impressive buildings, Women in Architecture, a new book from Hatje Cantz, shows the world what it may have missed.–Julia Vitale “Air Mail”

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A quietly indignant survey of 20th-century female photographers around the globe. Ambitious but far from definitive, the show is an opening salvo in the effort to restore a history riddled with omissions.–Ariella Budick “Financial Times”

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Unearths quite a bit of buried treasure.–Julia Curl “Hyperallergic”

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$66.00

Availability: In stock

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