Synopses & Reviews
Highlights the contributions of women to photographic history.
An exhibition held in Paris a century ago demonstrated the key role American women photographers played in the international pictorialist movement. The accomplishment of these professional and amateur photographers clearly demonstrated a mastery of the medium and made a strong impression on those in attendance. Ambassadors of Progress explores this largely unknown event. Each of the 29 artists, including such well-known figures as Gertrude Kaesebier, Amelia van Buren and Zaida Ben-Yusuf, is represented in a selection of approximately 70 breathtaking color plates drawn from the Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection at the Library of Congress and the National Museum of American History. The photographs include landscapes, portraiture, genre scenes, and still-lifes, all of which are evocatively composed and delicately toned using a variety of photographic techniques.
The book contains essays by Verna Curtis (Curator of Photography, Library of Congress -- on Frances Benjamin Johnston as photographer and curator), Michel Poivert (President, Societe Francaise de Photographie -- on the French critical reception), Derrick R. Cartwright (Director, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College -- on the relationship of pictorialist photography to contemporary American painting), and Andrew Robb (Senior Photograph Conservator, Library of Congress -- on the conservation processes surrounding these works).