Episode 105: Women in the Dark: Female Photographers in the U.S. 1850-1900

Every so often I’ll turn over an image and I’ll see a woman’s name as the photographer. Now I know that there were many female photographers from the daguerreotype era onward, but rarely are they featured in histories of photography or their work on display in an exhibit. My guest today is on a mission to change that her new book women in the dark focuses on female photographers from 1850 to 1900, the volume includes in-depth profiles of some women photographers.

Revealing how they worked in a male dominated field. But as you know, tracking down the life details of women can be a challenge. Their lives are often hidden by the men in their lives, fathers and brothers and husbands. They marry and change their names. It took a decade for the author to find the material and the images to compile this book.

Turn over your card photographs, and you might reveal a bit of unstudied history, perhaps even one of your female relatives, posed customers for likenesses. Do you know of a woman photographer who worked in the United States before 1900? Email me@photodetectiveatmaureentaylor.com. We’d love to hear about them.

Related Episodes:

Episode 77: Interviewing Relatives with Personal Biographer, Francie King


About My Guest:

Katherine Manthorne writes about landscape art across the Americas and the contribution of women to 19th century art and culture. Currently an art history professor at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, she has been a visiting professor in Venice, Copenhagen, and Berlin. Her publications include Home on the Hudson Women and Men Painting Landscape, 1825-1875 and Restless Enterprise: The Art and LIfe of Eliza Pratt Greatorex 

About Maureen Taylor:

Maureen is a frequent keynote speaker on photo identification, photograph preservation, and family history at historical and genealogical societies, museums, conferences, libraries, and other organizations across the U.S., London and Canada.  She’s the author of several books and hundreds of articles and her television appearances include The View and The Today Show (where she researched and presented a complete family tree for host Meredith Vieira).  She’s been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, The Boston Globe, Martha Stewart Living, Germany’s top newspaper Der Spiegel, American Spirit, and The New York Times. Maureen was recently a spokesperson and photograph expert for MyHeritage.com, an internationally known family history website and also writes guidebooks, scholarly articles and online columns for such media as Smithsonian.com. Learn more at Maureentaylor.com

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