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National Gallery of Art : The New Woman Behind the Camera


During the 1920s the New Woman was easy to recognize but hard to define. Hair bobbed and fashionably dressed, this iconic figure of modernity was everywhere, splashed across magazine pages or projected on the silver screen. A global phenomenon, she embodied an ideal of female empowerment based on real women making revolutionary changes in life and art—including photography.

This book looks at those diverse “new women” who embraced the camera as a mode of expression and made a profound impact on the medium from the 1920s to the 1950s. Thematic chapters explore how women emerged as a driving force in modern photography, bringing multiple perspectives to artistic experimentation, studio portraiture, fashion and advertising work, scenes of urban life, ethnography, and photojournalism.

This is an in-depth look at the many ways women around the world shaped modern photography from the 1920s to the 1950s as they captured images of a radically changing world. Published in advance of 2021 exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.


National Gallery of Art

The New Woman Behind the Camera

Edited with text by Andrea Nelson. Foreword by Kaywin Feldman. Preface by Andrea Nelson & Mia Fineman. Text by Elizabeth Cronin, Mila Ganeva, Kristen Gresh, Elizabeth Otto, Kim Sichel.

Hardcover, 9.75 x 11.75 in.

288 pgs / 8 color / 269 bw

ISBN 9781942884743

List Price: $60.00 CDN $84.00 GBP £48.00


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