The Female Gaze: A Survey of Photographs by Women from the 19th to the 21st Centuries
The Female Gaze:A Survey of Photographs by Women from the 19th to the 21st Centuries is an exhibition of photographs made by women from the 19th century to the present day. Since the beginning of the medium’s history, women have played a vital and sustained role in its invention and the making of photographs, which is not the case in any other visual medium.
Constance Talbot, wife of the co-inventor of photography, William Henry Fox Talbot, made her most insightful contribution in the autumn of 1843 when she set to work with the first few lines of her friend Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies. She reported in a letter to her husband on December 1, 1843, “I have composed a little frame with the 4 first lines of the ‘Last Rose of Summer’ & it is now waiting for brighter weather.” Sometime shortly after that, Talbot arranged her cutout letters in front of the camera and produced a negative of the text that is still printable today.
Women have made master works across the medium’s genres including portraits, travel, landscape, documentary and conceptual photography. The creative impact of women photographers as diverse as Julia Margret Cameron in the 19th century, Bernice Abbott in the 20th century and Carrie Mae Weems in the 21st century have defined the very best that the medium is capable of.
Photographs spanning the history of the medium have been selected from the Haverford College Fine Art Photography Collection. Works by Lady Hawarden, Imogene Cunningham, Claude Cahun, Nan Goldin, Vivian Maier and Tacita Dean among others are included in the exhibition forming a parallel history of the medium. These photographs when placed within the larger context of the medium’s history highlight women’s continuing contributions to photography from its beginnings to the present day.
October 24 to December 6, 2014
Atrium Gallery, Marshall Fine Arts Center Campus Map
Friday, October 24