Women’s WorkA Survey of Female Photographers

April 16 through September 11, 2022

Margaret Bourke-White, Self Portrait, 1931, Gelatin silver print, Gift of Ludmila and Bruce Dandrew from The Ludmila Dandrew and Chitranee Drapkin Collection

More than any other visual medium, women have played vital and sustained roles in the making and advancement of photography since its invention. Unfortunately, this contribution has been underemphasized. With a broad interest growing in museums to enlarge the canon to be more inclusive and reflective of under-recognized contributors, this exhibition seeks to do our part. The MFA photography collection is rich in examples of innovative, courageous, and talented women photographers from the earliest days of the medium to contemporary times.

Highlighting work by photographers like Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–1879), Gertrude Käsebier (1852–1934), Margaret Bourke-White (1904–1971), Diane Arbus (1923–1971), Sally Mann (b. 1951), and Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976), as well as lesser-known figures in the field, this exhibition examines the rich visual testimony that contributed to the emergence of women as a driving force in modern photography.

Made possible in part by the City of St. Petersburg, Office of Cultural Affairs