From Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz to Man Ray and Walker Evans, there is no doubt that the canonized history of photography is dominated by the names of men. Often regrettably omitted from this narrative, however, are the many women who made pioneering strides in the medium.
Currently, two Paris museums—Musée D’Orsay
and Musée de l’Orangerie—aim to exhume these histories and bodies of work in “Who’s Afraid of Women Photographers? 1839–1945,” the first-ever exhibition in France to look at the history of photography through a gender-specific lens.
The 11 female photographers below, all of whom are included in the exhibition, exercised technical and aesthetic ingenuity, asserted their own voices and subjectivities, and broke into arenas traditionally monopolized by men. As the exhibition argues, perhaps it is high time to recast the photographic canon with these artists in mind.