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The Alice Austen House : Heap-O-Livin : The Photography of Lora Webb Nichols


Heap-O-Livin: The Photography of Lora Webb Nichols is curated by Nicole Jean Hill. This exhibition considers the female gaze and role of photography in creating intimacy. Wyoming homesteader Lora Webb Nichols (1883–1962) created and collected over 24,000 negatives during her lifetime in the mining town of Encampment. The images chronicle the domestic, social, and economic realities of the frontier, with a focus on the role of pioneer women of the early 20th century and their duties as mothers, homemakers, and community cultivators.

Nicole Jean Hill is the co-curator of the Lora Webb Nichols collections, housed at the American Heritage Center in Laramie, Wyoming. She has been working on preserving this archive in collaboration with Nancy Anderson since 2013, including digitizing the photographs, organizing the corresponding text, recovering the photographer’s diaries and letters, and collaborating with the Grand Encampment Museum and the American Heritage Center to secure a permanent home for the negatives. Her book Encampment, Wyoming: Selections from the Lora Webb Nichols Archive 1899-1948 was published by FW Books, Amsterdam and shortlisted for the Aperture/Paris Photo Photo Book of the Year in 2021.


Heap – O – Livin: The Photography of Lora Webb Nichols
Until February 17, 2024
Alice Austen House
2 Hylan Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10305-2002

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