Women in the Dark: Female Photographers in the US, 1850–1900

Katherine Manthorne

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Recover the stories of long-overlooked American women who, at a time when women rarely worked outside the home, became commercial photographers and shaped the new, challenging medium. Covering two generations of photographers ranging from New York City to California’s mining districts, this study goes beyond a broad survey and explores individual careers through primary sources and new materials. Profiles of the photographers animate their careers by exploring how they began, the details of running their own studios, and their visual output. The photos featured vary in form--daguerreotype, tintype, carte de visite, and more--and subject, including civil war portraits, postmortem photography, and landscape photography. This welcome resource fills in gaps in photographic, American, and women’s history, and convincingly lays out the parallels between the growth of photography as an available medium and the late 19th-century Women’s Movement.

Size: 9" x 10 1/2" x 5/8" | 72 color and b/w images | 144 pp
ISBN13: 9780764360169

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Katherine Manthorne writes about landscape art across the Americas and the contribution of women to 19th century art and culture. Currently an art history professor at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, she has been a visiting professor in Venice, Copenhagen, and Berlin. Her publications include Home on the Hudson: Women and Men Painting Landscape, 1825-1875 (Boscobel, 2009) and Restless Enterprise: The Art & Life of Eliza Pratt Greatorex (University of California Press, 2021).