Women photographers and their work celebrated in two new art exhibitions: “It’s an alternative history of photography”

The contributions of the women behind the lens have often been overlooked, but two new exhibitions at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Metropolitan Museum of Art hope to change that by focusing on work that until now has been “under. -exposed. “

The work of photographer Sheila Pree Bright speaks volumes in the photos she takes. Some of his work includes photographs taken during the Ferguson protests.

“I’m always looking to challenge stereotypes and show the universal commonalities between all of us,” Pree Bright told CBS News’s Dana Jacobson.

These photographs, along with photos of 85 female photographers, are featured in a 100-piece exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The exhibition is called “Underexposed: Women Photographers From The Collection”.

Sarah Kennel and Maria Kelly are co-curators. Kennel says the name of the show has so many different meanings.

“Yeah. I mean, first of all, it’s a joke about the photos, right? Underexposing is a mistake. But also thinking about works that weren’t seen and why not, you know, that also added to the title, “Kennel mentioned. “And then, of course, more broadly, there’s this question of, you know, ‘Are women artists, are artists of color sufficiently represented?'”

The exhibition was built from the museum’s collection of around 8,000 photos, of which just over a quarter were taken by women. Five galleries with varied themes make up the exhibition. Each is designed to showcase over a century of photographic work and women’s influence.

“If you look at the first photo we have on the show, it’s of Anna Atkins and she was the first female photographer but also the first person to create a photo book,” Kelly said.

A lesson in the history of photography according to photography teacher Jill Frank, also an emerging artist whose work is featured.

“I love the idea of ​​being in the context of some of the people I’ve spent my whole life admiring. Instead of using all those familiar images from our textbooks that champion male photographers, this collection brings together all the women identifying the photographers, “says Franck. “Most of these photographs have not been seen. This is an alternate history of photography, so it seems so critical. An underrepresented group of people.”

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the goal is even more open. Andrea Nelson takes a holistic approach by organizing the exhibition “The New Woman Behind The Camera”, curated by the National Gallery in Washington, where she works in association with The Met.

“There are 120 different photographers from 20 different countries around the world,” said Mia Fineman, curator of photography for the Met. “We have a cheat sheet for when I can’t remember their names.” The works all come from the 30-year period between 1920-1950, the era of the new woman, and when women demanded more rights and freedoms.

“Why do you think these photographers may have been overlooked? Jacobson asked.

“I think there are a number of reasons. You can’t just say, can you, that there’s sexism, even though, you know, it’s obvious. Women often have it. had shorter careers than their male colleagues. I think there is also just you I know, some prejudices in past stories where a number of women were working in studios, in business practices, in photography. fashion, ”Nelson said.“ And these were often overlooked in the history of photography as something that wasn’t artistic or creative enough. ”

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About Margaret L. Portillo

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