Women and photography
Women and photography
- Tirza Latimer
- and Harriet Riches
Updated in this version
updated and revised, 11 February 2013
Since the medium’s inception, women have been attracted to photography’s ability to narrate the past and to construct the future, as well as its relative freedom from the historical conventions of the fine arts. In Europe and North America, and later in parts of Central and South America and Asia, the evolution of the new technology across the 19th century coincided with feminist challenges to prevailing gender relations. From the 1850s women of the upper and middle classes experimented with photography as a tool of documentation and a space of self-expression, while photographic studios employed working-class women to assist in a variety of tasks. As innovations such as the dry-plate process (1870s) and the Kodak camera (1888) streamlined photographic technology, women became professional operators and amateur hobbyists in escalating numbers. Unlike fine arts such as painting and sculpture, photography did not require extensive study in male-dominated academies, but could be learnt from readily available instruction manuals or a short apprenticeship in a professional studio. Furthermore, commercial photography’s rapid expansion demanded a new workforce, and women emerging from the domestic sphere filled the labour gap. From the 1880s Kodak’s advertisements for their hand-held cameras addressed a new female clientele as both producers and consumers of photography. Embodying the popular iconography of the so-called ‘New Woman’ at the turn of the 20th century, the campaigns’ fashionable ‘Kodak Girl’ (see fig.) pictured with her camera emblematized a generation of women seeking enfranchisement and economic and sexual autonomy in the public arena. At the same time, this female symbol confirmed photography’s own identity as the medium of modernity by associating it with a distinctly feminine, wholesome image of freedom and vitality. Throughout the 20th century women were attracted in increasing numbers to photography as a hobby and as a profession, and enjoyed visible success in a number of fields, including social documentary, photojournalism and press photography, commercial portraiture, fine art, and fashion. As photographic technology became cheaper and more accessible worldwide, women working in diverse socio-economic, political, and geographical contexts participated in its practice. Photography became an important tool of second-wave feminism to critique the established visual conventions through which gender, sexual, racial, and class identities have been constructed (see Feminism and art). With the advent of digital technologies and the worldwide web in the 21st century photography has remained a significant tool of self-determination (see Digital photography).
1. The 19th century.
Until the introduction of the Kodak camera in 1888, the practice of making photographs was confined to those with the necessary leisure, money, and space to experiment with early processes. In the 1840s British botanist Anna Atkins appropriated the newly discovered cyanotype to create contact print impressions of botanical specimens that recorded the specificity of each sample and the general characteristics of the species. One of a series of albums, Atkins’s British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, first published in 1843, represented the first photographic book (see fig.). By mid-century photography was considered a suitable hobby for aristocratic women in Europe, sharing with other feminine handicrafts a perceived dependence on patience and reproduction rather than original creativity. Lady Fanny Jocelyn (1820–80) and Lady Harriette St Claire used the camera to narrate family histories that confirmed their standing within British Victorian society, thus establishing a genre of domestic photography with which women have remained associated. Others worked in a more experimental vein: while it is not clear whether or not Lady Filmer (1840–1903) made her own prints, her collages combined watercolour sketches and photographic fragments to create fictional scenes—their cut-and-paste aesthetic looking forward to avant-garde photomontage of the 20th century. In France Virginia Oldoini, Comtesse de Castiglione (1837–99) commissioned the prestigious photographer Pierre-Louis Pierson (1822–1913) to produce over 400 photographic tableaux in which she staged herself in a variety of costumes and revealing poses, which have been interpreted by modern scholars as collaborative and performative self-portraits. Taking her own photographs, Viscountess Clementina, Viscountess Hawarden’s staging of her daughters within interiors displayed sensitivity for the photographic conditions of light; her use of mirrors and windows to create convoluted photographic spaces, moreover, hinted at the suffocation of women within the Victorian ideology of separate spheres. The most celebrated of the century’s so-called lady amateurs in Britain, Julia Margaret Cameron practised photography according to the prevailing conventions of painting, with her staged literary narratives incorporating the contemporary aesthetic of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (see fig.). While her photographic prints were often criticized in their day for a lack of focus and apparently careless processing, her work contributed to the closer alignment of photography with fine art at the end of the 19th century.
The public success of such women was, however, rare. While Cameron exhibited her work and Hawarden earned awards from the London Photographic Society, many camera clubs granted limited access to upper-class ladies and none to career women. But women were visible in commercial practice, particularly in England and North America, with figures such as Miss Wigley of Fleet Street in London entering the burgeoning industry for daguerreotype portraits in the 1840s, and one (unidentified) itinerant female daguerreotypist working in Montreal in Canada as early as 1841. The public desire for photography ensured a constant demand for studio workers in both metropolitan centres and provincial towns. The first printing firm to employ a significant workforce of both men and women was set up in Lille in France, followed by companies in Alsace, Germany, and Italy, in towns and cities in Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and Australia in the 1860s, and between 1870 and 1900 in India, China, and Japan. Census records after 1865 show that African American women worked in the industry; this was often in rural communities, although the 1866 Houston directory names Mary E. Warren as a ‘photographic printer’ with an address in the city district favoured by white photographic firms. To meet popular demand, women were employed in a variety of capacities from preparing sitters for the camera to cracking eggs for albumen prints, and retouching portraits—manual tasks requiring patience and the attention to detail to which women were considered naturally suited. As the emerging industry was not yet regulated by the rules that circumscribed men’s apprenticeships, female workers could be employed cheaply and with few rights granted to them.
In Europe and North America, an unmarried or widowed middle-class woman could become head of her own studio, sometimes taking over her spouse’s practice after his death. A basic photographic set-up required little training and modest financial outlay, and by the end of the century, women such as Zaida Ben-Yusuf, Catherine Barnes Ward (1851–1913), and Gertrude Käsebier in New York, Alice Austen in Staten Island, Eva Watson-Schütze (1867–1935) in Philadelphia, and Alice Hughes (c. 1860–c. 1945) of London’s Gower Street were leaders in the field, employing assistants of their own. In addition, women worked alongside their husbands in studios or as itinerant photographers; Marie-Lydie Cabannis Bonfils (1837–1918) left France with her husband Felix in 1867 and worked in his studios in Beirut, Baalbek, and Jerusalem until 1916. While it is hard to attribute authorship to all of the photographs produced by the family business over so many years, her images of Syrian and Egyptian women in purdah demonstrate a privileged access to the private space of the harem that was denied to male photographers at that time. Sometimes women were employed solely for this purpose: records from the 1890s show that a woman named Mrs Levick was employed in this capacity by the celebrated Indian photographer Lala Deen Dayal (fl 1860s–1870s) in his Hyderabad studio.
While the association of women with the camera supported photography’s construction as a modern, democratic technology, it also contributed to the re-confirmation of traditional gender roles threatened by social change. More often than not women were not directing behind the camera, but were staged in front of its lens as the objects onto which traditional ideals of femininity were projected. Popular cartes-de-visite in the 1860s depicted women posed in the increasingly exaggerated and incapacitating crinolines that were then fashionable. At the same time, artfully posed shots of semi-naked women served a growing market for pornography, especially in France. Similar poses were re-staged in European travel photography that offered a voyeuristic glimpse of non-white women in the ‘exotic’ context of the harem. As an integral tool of European colonialism, photographs both titillated Western consumers and situated non-Western subjects within a decontextualizing Orientalist discourse. Photography also served the era’s obsession with the visual construction of gender-specific disease and social deviance. For example, Albert Londe’s photographs of patients, taken under the direction of psychiatrist Jean-Martin Charcot (1825–93) at the Salpêtrière in Paris, were seen as evidence of the female malady of hysteria, rather than as the staged performances of pathologized femininity that scholars view them today (see Gaze, the).
Although women were clearly objectified through such practices, the camera also functioned as a tool of self-determination, offering a space in which women could forge new identities. In her Self-Portrait (c. 1896), American documentary photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston depicted herself smoking and revealing her ankles, popular symbols of the emancipated, gender-defying ‘New Woman’. The impact of changing gender relations in the USA and Britain were felt further afield: portraits commissioned by wealthy Indian women in the 1870s–1890s showed their adoption of the public dress and contemporary poses found in Western portraiture, which circulated between colonized and colonizing nations. Into the 20th century, similar photographic codes were appropriated in the self-representation of Japan’s Bluestocking group. Formed by five Tokyo women in the first decade of the century, the group identified themselves with the 18th-century English feminists of the same name, and used photography to publicize their identity as free, modern, thinking women. Publishing their photographs in their literary journal Seitō, they represented turn-of-the-century Japanese femininity in their own terms and as a visual response to the inherited tradition of the Western ‘New Woman’ who was perceived in Japan as ugly, ‘mannish’, and transgressive.
Thus the relationship of women to photography in the 19th century was complex. On the one hand, it enabled artistic and scientific experiment, a degree of self-determination and remunerated work outside the home; on the other, it fixed the image of sexualized femininity as the primary spectacle of modern visual culture.
2. The 20th century.
That women were attracted to photography in increasing numbers in the early 20th century was addressed publicly by Frances Benjamin Johnston both in her essays for Ladies’ Home Journal (1901–3), which advocated camera work as a suitable vocation for women, and in her exhibition of women’s work at the Third International Photographic Congress, which coincided with the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. At this time, opportunities for photographic education opened up to women in trade schools and colleges in Europe and the USA. As they began to travel and record their experiences (particularly as war workers), women also contributed to photojournalism and social documentary photography. The number of women practising photography professionally in the USA alone rose from 228 in 1870 to 3580 by 1900 (according to the US Census). In 1902 Jessie Tarbox Beals (1870–1942) became the first woman to be appointed staff photographer (at the Buffalo Enquirer) and figures on the international scene such as Berenice Abbott (see fig.), Imogen Cunningham (see fig.), Laura Gilpin, Florence Henri, Lotte Jacobi, Documentary photography, §1, Lisette Model, and Ilse Bing enjoyed success in many fields. Italian-born Tina Modotti used photography to record events in Mexico as part of the political activity for which she was deported from the country in 1929, while native-born Mexican Lola Álvarez Bravo became an influential figure in the country’s post-revolutionary artistic scene. During this period, African American women also attracted acclaim: Eslanda Cardoza Goode Robeson (1896–1965; wife of Paul Robeson) for her anthropological studies in the Soviet Union and in South Africa; and studio-owner Winifred Hall Allen for her documenting of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930s. In England, Madame Yevonde (1893–1975) and Dorothy Wilding (1893–1976) enjoyed success as fashionable society photographers, with Yevonde’s experiment with colour in the 1930s marking her out as particularly innovative. Though these women were successful, their photography was often evaluated according to their gender. Dorothea Lange’s portrayal of the humanizing face of the Great Depression in the 1930s, for instance, was praised for its emotion and empathy by Roy Stryker (then director of the Historical Section of the Farm Security Administration), further naturalizing qualities that had been deemed innately feminine since the 19th century.
Others subordinated the individualistic professional credo embraced by a growing photographic sorority to carry out more collective work in response to the political ideologies and conflict in Europe in the early 20th century. Claude Cahun and her partner Marcel Moore (1892–1972), Hannah Höch, and Lucia Moholy, for instance, practised within contexts that ranged from Dada and Surrealism to the Bauhaus and the International Red Aid relief organization. Their experiments in collage and montage, photograms, tableaux vivants, portraiture, and photojournalism demonstrated an acute awareness of photography as a site of modern social formation, political discourse, activism, and critique.
The international impact of World War II expanded women’s photographic ambitions in both a professional and personal capacity. In 1939 Chinese Yang Ling worked alongside the Eighth Route Army, and photographed the civil war of the late 1940s. In 1944 Elizabeth Williams (b 1924) became the first black woman to be conscripted as a US Army photographer, giving her the opportunity to travel and experience life outside of her home country. On the West Coast of America Vera Jackson (b 1912) was employed by The California Eagle in 1945 to photograph prominent black figures of the time, and her work contributed to the visual recording of the early days of the Civil Rights movement in the post-war period. In Australia Olive Cotton (1911–2003) took over her husband Max Dupain’s prominent Sydney studio from 1942 to 1945 while he served with the Royal Australian Air Force. In addition, the dissemination of the work of émigrés fleeing National Socialism in Europe had wide influence: it was due in part to the emigration of Austrian-born Jew Margaret Michaelis (1902–85) to Sydney in the late 1930s that Australia was introduced to the European modernist style of ‘New Photography’. In Brazil the photojournalism of German-born Alice Brill (1920–2013) captured the early transformation of her adopted São Paulo into the dynamic metropolis it is today.
Despite the backlash in Western countries after World War II against women in professions, many maintained careers in the photographic sector. Picture magazines such as Life in the USA and Picture Post in England provided women with paid work in the pages of popular mass-circulation magazines. For British women such as Grace Robertson (b 1930), their remit was often limited to a focus on women’s interests. However, figures such as Lee Miller and Margaret Bourke-White maintained a high profile, and their photojournalism publicized and promoted women’s participation outside of photography’s traditional centres. Records show evidence of women working in assisting roles in commercial photography in Spain, Italy, and Germany, Central and South America, Japan, and to a lesser extent China and the African continent. Women were particularly active in using photography to document a changing world and publicize hidden social realities. Commitment to the growing ecological movement by Fay Godwin (1931–2005) was revealed in her landscape photography of England in the 1970s and 1980s and its focus on the encroachment of human inhabitation and ownership on nature. Graciela Iturbide’s ten-year project (begun in 1979) focused on the women of the small town of Juchitán and provided a compelling portrait of Mexican life and culture. Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas’s imagery of Nicaragua in the late 1970s produced iconic images of conflict that testify to the powerful impact of the photograph in communicating human violence; while the photography of Ursula Arnold (1929–2012), Gundula Schulze Eldowy (b 1954), Helga Paris (b 1938), and Sibylle Bergemann (1941–2010) from the 1970s and 1980s revealed life behind the Iron Curtain in the former German Democratic Republic. Their use of symbolism to convey subtle political critique enabled the work to evade the censorship of the secret police and survive as an important document of the Cold War era.
By the mid-20th century, pressures from practitioners, specialized journals, and galleries, and the expansion of private and public photographic collections, helped establish photography as a legitimate medium of fine art. Few women, however, were invited to exhibit photographic work in art contexts at this time. Glossy magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire enabled the emergence of exceptions—most notably Diane Arbus—who straddled the ever-shifting frontier separating commercial and artistic practices.
As the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s in North America, Western Europe, and Australia confronted the intersection of gender, race, and class inequities, the role of the camera in the mediation of power became central to projects that explored the political stakes of self-imaging. Training their lenses on their own bodies, artists working in the USA such as Eleanor Antin, Adrian Piper, Hannah Wilke, and Judy Dater dismantled essentialist constructs of women, and aggressively confronted both the public and the private faces of sexism (see fig.). Influenced by the emerging discipline of film studies, theories of the gendered gaze mediated by the apparatus of the camera informed the post-modernist masquerades of Cindy Sherman and the deconstruction of text and image in the work of Barbara Kruger. For others, the camera was used to expose the inequalities of gendered labour, as in Martha Rosler’s new social documentary, and the collaborative projects of Jo Spence and the Hackney Flashers in London in the late 1970s and 1980s. In Australia photographers such as Carol Jerrems rejected the traditional subjects and formats of artistic representation, with many women working collaboratively to focus on female issues and domestic realities and publishing their work in alternative spaces such as the short-lived feminist magazine Matilda.
In the 1980s feminist art historian Linda Nochlin’s essay ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’ (1971) provoked scholars such as Val Williams, Anne Tucker, and Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe to redress the absence of women in the historiography of photography and to define the specificity of women’s contribution. The importance of claiming female visibility was also central to photographic practices of the 1980s and 1990s in which the bodies, desires, and identities of the marginalized were exposed. Nan Goldin trained her camera on friends to offer an intimate glimpse into life at society’s margins, introducing a diaristic format and everyday aesthetic with far-reaching influence—from the controversial ‘heroin-chic’ fashion photography of Corinne Day (1962–2010), to a new generation of Japanese photographers such as Yurie Nagashima (b 1973). Deborah Bright (b 1950), Kaucyila Brooke (b 1952), Zoe Leonard, and Catherine Opie used photography to expose the contingency of gender and its markers in the light of queer theory. At the same time, artists such as Laura Aguilar (b 1959), Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Lorna Simpson, and Carrie Mae Weems worked both with and against photography’s documentary grain to challenge the intertwining master narratives of race, sexual identity, and gender encoded in late 20th-century visual culture.
3. Contemporary trends.
In 2001 Time magazine named Sally Mann ‘America’s greatest photographer’. Once a controversial figure, Mann’s celebration by the American press reflected the mainstream popularity of women’s photography in the West at the turn of the new millennium. By the year 2000 women participated in ever greater numbers as photographers, curators, artists, archivists, historians, and writers. Retrospectives of the work of Francesca Woodman, Rineke Dijkstra, Cindy Sherman, and ‘Young British Artist’ Gillian Wearing ran concurrently in 2012 in major institutions in San Francisco, New York, and London, confirming the place of women’s photography within the medium’s history, and the medium’s place within the canon of 20th-century art.
But it could be argued that the absorption of politically charged projects within art’s histories, institutions, and markets divested women’s practice of its original counter-establishment intentions. The sale in November 2004 of Barbara Kruger’s iconic Untitled (I Shop Therefore I am) for $601,600 highlighted this issue. The work’s central criticism of the conflation of femininity, consumerism, and women’s self-definition via a post-modernist language of deconstruction was neutralized by its commodification in the art market. By the same token, Kruger’s strategic use of found photographs and text soundbites as a rejection of Modernism’s celebration of originality and genius was reduced to an instantly recognizable and highly marketable artistic ‘brand’.
In the 1990s photography had begun to dominate the practice of contemporary fine art, becoming at the turn of the century the ‘medium of the moment’, as Peter Galassi put it. While the work of female artists remained under-represented in national collections, women photographers had unprecedented visibility. The work of German Candida Höfer was celebrated for its conceptual approach to the legacy of the objective style developed under the tutelage of Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the late 1970s. Practices as diverse as that of Susan Derges (b 1955), Catherine Yass, and Tacita Dean foregrounded the materiality of the analogue medium in the digital age, while the potential of photography to produce—rather than just record—identities and experience was central to the work of Sophie Calle and Lindsey Seers (b 1966)
If a dominant trope has emerged in contemporary photographic art by women, it is once again the female body, but with the camera now trained on the bodies of others. Established in the work of Dijkstra and Anna Gaskell (b 1969), the trend for a directorial mode of narrative ‘girl photography’ crystallized around the exhibition Another Girl, Another Planet curated by Gregory Crewdson and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn in New York in 1999. The group show’s emphasis on the bodies of semi-clothed young women attracted criticism for perpetuating the voyeuristic operations of the sexualized gaze that had been resisted in the late 20th century. At the same time, the subjects’ reproduction of codes and poses absorbed from the mass media served as a reminder of the influence of photography in the construction of femininity and its increasing importance in young women’s self-representation online.
For women working outside of the privileged domain of Western art, photography remained a powerful tool for exposing social inequalities experienced within national boundaries and questioning the persistent stereotypes of non-Western identities in a globalized world. Photography (and video) became the favoured medium for a number of artists emerging from China as access to new visual technologies expanded. The exhibition Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China that travelled internationally between 2004 and 2006 contributed to the publicizing of Chinese women’s photographic practices at the turn of the 21st century. Included was an installation of Lin Tianmiao’s Braiding (1998), a 12-ft (3.6 m) high photograph hung from the roof and trailing long braided threads that functioned as metaphors for the binding ties of cultural habits and historical identities. In Japan, women addressed the structure of the post-war family from which women were beginning to differentiate themselves: media artist Mako Idemitsu (b 1940) used the projected image to expose the oppression of women’s identities in Japan’s modern family, while Hiroko Okada (b 1970) appropriated the tradition of the family snapshot to deconstruct the illusion of the patriarchal unit. Yurie Nagashima (b 1973) combined the aesthetic of the family album with a casual diaristic quality (popularized in Japan by male photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, who was in turn influenced by the work of Nan Goldin) to explore female familial relationships.
In Central and South America, the gendered image has been staged as a cipher of complex social relationships. The gulf between rich and poor provided the subtext for portraits of women staged within opulent interiors by Mexican Daniela Rossell (b 1973). By photographing these women in their gilded domestic cages—their lives far removed from the experience of the majority and circumscribed by the ever-present threat of kidnapping—Rossell exposed social inequalities both in her home nation and further afield.
Photography by women has been used to critique the medium’s own complicity in inscribing the colonial and ethnographic gaze in Africa, Australia, and on the Indian subcontinent. Bangalore-based N. Pushpamala collaborated with professional photographer Clare Arni to create a variety of self-images that worked through the stereotypes through which Indian femininity was constructed, in the series Native Women of South India: Manners & Customs (2000–04). To create Static Drift (2001) Kenyan-born Ingrid Mwangi (b 1975) used stencils and sunlight to expose her body as a photographic plate. Tracing the borderlines of Germany and Africa onto her own skin, she inscribed the fluctuating contingency of light and dark, colonizer and colonized, onto the female reproductive body that in post-independence Africa had become guarantor of African identity and tradition. Although rejecting the label of ‘indigenous artist’, contemporary Australian photographer Tracey Moffatt continues to question the legacies of colonialism, following the trajectory set in her Some Lads (1986) for which male dancers performed and deconstructed the poses found in the 19th-century photographs of aboriginal people taken by J. W. Lindt (1845–1926; see Photography in Australia). More recent projects address the history of the ‘Stolen Generation’, using photography both as a means of remembering and negotiating that history in the present.
A number of photographic practices and exhibitions by women have focused on Arab and Islamic identity to expose ungrounded fears about the unknown ‘other’ (especially in the wake of the terror attacks on New York’s World Trade Center on 11 September 2001) and emphasize the fluidity of identity across various religious, regional, and national contexts. The work of Iranian-born Shirin Neshat depicted women wearing the chador and carrying weapons with their faces over-written with Farsi script, both invoking the connotations of exotic femininity established in 19th-century photography and inviting a Western audience to question the contemporary stereotype of the ‘Muslim woman’.
Violence in the Middle East defined the first decade of the 21st century, and photography by and of women played a primary role in mediating that conflict. Prompted by imagery of the Iraq War (2003–11), Martha Rosler reprised the photomontage format she first used in the late 1960s in her critique of Vietnam War coverage (Bringing the War Home) to create the new series Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful (2004). Combining photos from Iraq with images in interior design magazines, Rosler’s work combined the critical functions of fine art and photojournalism, and served as a reminder of the incisive power of photography in bringing home—literally and metaphorically—the realities of worldwide conflict. Later that year the worldwide circulation of photographs of hooded prisoners enduring acts of humiliation in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison for the apparent amusement of the US soldiers behind the lens promoted public outrage on an unprecedented scale. For many, the involvement of a female soldier in the photographic recording of the scenes of abuse was particularly shocking; but the anger directed at the female protagonist also exposed an enduring belief in women’s role as photography’s humanizing guardian, an image descended from that first sunny Kodak girl of the 1880s.
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- B. Hall and J. Mather: Australian Women Photographers: 1840–1960 (Melbourne, 1986)
- J. Moutoussamy-Ashe: Viewfinders: Black Women Photographers (New York, 1986)
- V. Williams: Women Photographers: The Other Observers 1900 to the Present (London, 1986)
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- A. Solomon-Godeau: Photography at the Dock: Essays on Photographic History, Institutions and Practices (Minneapolis, 1994)
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- L. Heron and V. Williams, eds: Illuminations: Women Writing on Photography from the 1850s to the Present (London and New York, 1996)
- M. Meskimmon and P. Jobling: Bodies of Experience: Gender and Identity in Women’s Photography Since 1970 (London, 1997)
- J. F. Dayidov: Women’s Camera Work: Self/Body/Other in American Visual Culture (Durham, NC, 1998)
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- L. Smith: The Politics of Focus: Women, Children and Nineteenth-Century Photography (Manchester, 1998)
- L. Soutter: ‘Dial “P” for Panties: Narrative Photography in the 1990s’, Afterimage (Jan 2000); repr. in Girls! Girls! Girls! In Contemporary Art, ed. C. Grant and L. Waxman (London, 2011)
- M. W. Sandler: Against the Odds: Women Pioneers in the First Hundred Years of Photography (New York, 2002)
- L. Schirmer, ed.: Women Seeing Women: A Pictorial History of Women’s Photography from Julia Margaret Cameron to Annie Leibovitz (New York, 2003)
- P. Di Bello: Women’s Albums and Photography in Victorian England: Ladies, Mothers and Flirts (Aldershot and Burlington, 2007)
- M. Reilly and L. Nochlin, eds: Global Feminisms: New Direction in Contemporary Art (London and New York, 2007)
- N. Rosenblum: A History of Women Photographers (New York, 3/2010)
- J. Bardsley: ‘The New Woman Exposed: Redefining Women in Modern Japanese Photography’, The New Woman International: Representations in Photography and Film From the 1870s Through the 1960s, ed. E. Otto and V. Rocco (Ann Arbor, MI, 2011)
- T. Garb: Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography (London, 2011)
- H. Riches: ‘“Picture Taking and Picture Making”: Gender Difference and the Historiography of Photography’, Photography, History, Difference, ed. T. Sheehan (Hanover, NH, 2014), pp. 128–50