Women Photographers Set
Women have been pioneering photographers since the earliest days of the art form. This expertly curated set of three volumes in the renowned Photofile series brings together 190 women photographers from all over the world, working in all styles and genres. From the imaginative experiments of the 19th century to the thriving art movements of the 20th century and on to the digital world of the 21st century, this rich and diverse overview will inspire readers to explore the work of some of the greatest photographers of all time.
Women began working as photographers in the second half of the 19th century, a time when the rules of the medium had not yet been codified and experimentation was the order of the day. Some opened their own studios, patenting their own equipment and carving out a place for themselves in this new artistic field, while others were obliged to work anonymously or under pseudonyms. As the 20th century dawned, women embraced genres ranging from pictorialist soft focus to documentary realism and surrealist photomanipulation, fearlessly exploring the boundaries of photographic possibility.
As global tensions rose and the Second World War began, many women photographers found themselves under threat or forced into exile. Others worked as war reporters or documented the aftermath of the conflict, but a great number found new creative energy and an increased engagement with political themes. Photography became a universal language to communicate around the world, and it was used to demonstrate empathy with those outside the establishment and to provide glimpses into the daily lives of women everywhere.
With the rise of feminism, women photographers conquered the mainstream, with an increasingly commodified art world now viewing them simply as photographers and not merely a novelty or subcategory. Some women combined their photography practice with video, installations and other media, while others used the camera as a tool for questioning the concept of imagemaking itself, or for opening a fruitiful dialogue with subjects, instead of imposing an outside viewpoint. A rising awareness of environmental concerns went hand in hand with the issues of globalization and diversity.