Urgent Museum Notice

A History of Women Photographers

A black-and-white photograph of two dark-skinned young twins sitting in folding chairs against a woodsy background, facing the camera with their bodies angled outward in opposite directions. They wear matching cowgirl outfits, complete with hats, boots, and hobby horses.
Feb 13 to May 04, 1997

Women have played a vital role in the history of photography since its beginnings in 1839, and NMWA is proud to honor their contributions with the exhibition, A History of Women Photographers. A first-ever international survey of women’s achievements over the course of photography’s first 150 years.

This exhibition includes many of the world’s most famous and influential photographers: Pictorialists Julia Margaret Cameron and Gertrude Kasebier; documentarian Dorothea Lange; modernists Imogen Cunningham, Tina Modotti, Lisette Model and Diane Arbus; photojournalists Margaret Bourke-White and Mary Ellen Mark; postmodernist Cindy Sherman; and many others.

The eye-opening exhibition also brings to light unknown or forgotten photographers, establishing a context for them among the women photographers who have already achieved lasting fame. “The field of photography is a relatively young art medium,” says Rebecca Phillips Abbott, Director of the museum. “It is critical that an exhibition of this kind is brought to public attention now. It assures that important contributors to photography won’t be forgotten and establishes a precedence for the examination of photography in the future.”

A History of Women Photographers is an international exhibition, featuring the work of over 200 photographers, as represented by 234 images made between 1850 and 1975 in countries throughout Europe, the Americas, and parts of Asia. It is divided into eight thematic sections: narrative and allegory; urban scene and landscape; the nude; still life; portraiture; documentary; fashion and advertising; and experimental photography. Organized by the Akron Art Museum, this historic exhibition opens at NMWA on February 13 and remains on view through May 4, 1997.

View of a gallery space covered in black-and-white photographs hanging on each wall.

Installation image of A History of Women Photographers