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Illuminations: Women Writing on Photography from the 1850s to the Presentby Heron
Synopses & Reviews
The first anthology of its kind, Illuminations presents a comprehensive selection of women’s writings on photography. It proposes a new and different history by demonstrating the ways in which women’s perspectives have advanced photographic criticism over the last 150 years.
Extraordinarily wide-ranging in its scope, this collection chronicles the role of women in photography as critics, historians, and practitioners. Readers will find Julia Margaret Cameron’s bold description of her photographic method, Rosalind Krauss’s exploration of what the camera means for Surrealism, Margaret Bourke-White and Carol Squiers with differing perspectives on Life magazine, as well as essays by Eudora Welty, Susan Sontag, Lucy Lippard, Berenice Abbott, Dorthea Lange, and many others. Illuminations begins with a short piece on the daguerreotype by Elizabeth Barrett Browning then moves through the avant-garde influence of Dada, Bauhaus, and surrealism, to fashion and portrait photography, continuing with documentary and reportage, the emergence of feminist analysis, and postmodern and postcolonial criticism. Encompassing many varied points of view, this volume offers pieces on individual photographers such as Diane Arbus, Ansel Adams, Barbara Kruger, Edward Weston, and Cindy Sherman along with theoretical work by contemporary writers including Jane Gallop, Coco Fusco, and Laura Mulvey.
An historic anthology, Illuminations shows that women have been writing about photography from its beginnings and have intervened in the key debates of the past century and a half. It will welcomed by those interested in photography, gender studies, and women and the arts.
Contributors. Berenice Abbott, Dawn Ades, Susan H. Aiken, Jan Avgikos, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Margaret Bourke-White, Deborah Bright, Susan Butler, Julia Margaret Cameron, Cynthia Chris, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Gen Doy, Olive Edis, Ute Eskildsen, Andrea Fisher, Gisèle Freund, Coco Fusco, Jane Gallop, Nan Goldin, Jewelle Gomez, Jan Zita Grover, Judith Mara Gutman, Maria Morris Hambourg, Liz Heron, Alice Hughes, Karen Knorr, Rosalind Krauss, Annette Kuhn, Dorothea Lange, Therese Lichtenstein, Lucy Lippard, Catherine Lord, Mary Warner Marien, Elizabeth McCausland, Roberta McGrath, Lee Miller, Tina Modotti, Lucia Moholy, Laura Mulvey, Carole Naggar, Nancy Newhall, Amy Rule, Lauren Sedofsky, Ingrid Sischy, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Susan Sontag, Jo Spence, Carol Squiers, Varvara Stepanova, Anne Tucker, Eudora Welty, Dorothy Wilding, Val Wiliams, Anne-Marie Willis, Madame Yevonde
The first anthology of its kind, Illuminations presents a comprehensive selection of women's writings on photography. It proposes a new and different history by demonstrating the ways in which women's perspectives have advanced photographic criticism over the last 150 years.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -512).
About the Author
Liz Heron’s writings on photography have appeard in Camerawork, Creative Camera and Aperture. She is the author of Streets of Desire and A Red River.
Val Williams is an independent writer and curator. She is the author of Warworks and The Other Observers.
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