For articles, see F2 eZine Archive 8 - Oct - Dec 2001

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Archive 8 - October - December 2001
Book Review

The Woman behind the Lens: The Life and Work of
Frances Benjamin Johnston 1864-1952

by Bettina Berch; University Press of Virginia, 2000, 171 p.

reviewed by Carole Glauber, copyright 2001

Frances Benjamin Johnston studied art in Paris, opened a Washington, DC art studio, photographed five White House administrations, documented Virginia's Hampton Institute and Alabama's Tuskegee Institute, photographed the gardens and architecture of the rich and famous, and declined to "marry for money," or marry at all, for that matter.

In The Woman behind the Lens: The Life and Work of Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1864-1952, author Bettina Berch takes us on a whirlwind tour of Johnston's substantial career and lengthy, energetic life. While the Library of Congress has some 19,000 items of correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, articles, and materials relating to Johnston, they evidently reveal little about her personal life. Still, Berch has pieced together an account of Johnston and her work.

Johnston grew up surrounded by independent women. Her mother was a leading journalist for the Baltimore Sun and Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in the 1870's, writing about congressional activities and providing Washington inside information to her readers. She had access to anyone important in Washington. Johnston's Aunt Nin also possessed an autonomous streak. From 1883-1885, Johnston studied art at the Academie Julian in Paris, returning to Washington at age 21, ready to make a living from her art.

Given her mother's connections, Johnston gained access to Washington insiders, including the chance to learn camera use and darkroom work from Thomas Smillie, at the Smithsonian. She opened a studio at 1332 V Street behind her father's house. After taking her first photographs in the White House in 1889, she went on to photograph there during the administrations of Cleveland, Harrison, McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft. Johnston's early astuteness for self-promotion became apparent when, as a founding member of the Business Women's Club, her photos of the 1893 Columbian Exposition were displayed on the clubroom walls on opening day.

She dabbled in Pictorialism more as a curiosity than as a commitment, joining the Photo-Secession and participating in photography salons, once as a juror. She was the first female member of the Capitol Camera Club. By 1900, Johnston's stature provided her the opportunity to organize an exhibit of women photographers for the Paris Exposition that year, where she also showed several hundred photographs from her series of the Washington school system and Hampton Institute.

Year after year, Johnston's accomplishments accumulated. During 1905 and 1906, she, her mother, and aunt became close with the Lumiere brothers in France who trained Johnston in the "theory and technique of their new process." By 1912, she was reported making "color photo-transparencies."

According to author Berch, Johnston and photographer, Mattie Hewitt lived and worked together for some eight years in New York City, with their relationship ending in 1917. Berch wisely avoids making definitive conclusions regarding Johnston's sexual orientation, but provides evidence and context for intelligent conjecture. During this time, Johnston made a dramatic switch from portraiture and journalism to photographing gardens and architecture.

Johnston never stopped working. In July, 1927, she bought a car for a motor tour of the East Coast, arranged for a driver, and ended up in Virginia where she became a Southerner. A series of Carnegie grants kept her going through the Depression. In 1944, her chauffeur stole her car, used up her gas rations, and she ran out of film difficult to obtain during the war-not typical problems for an eighty year old woman. She moved permanently to New Orleans in 1945, where she seemed to enjoy the "thriving bohemian culture." During the previous several decades, various institutions had purchased her work. She died March 16, 1952, but Berch does not reveal the cause of death, presumably old age.

This book contains forty reproductions of Johnston's work, but many of them are the ones typically seen when Johnston is mentioned. Berch by-passed an opportunity to highlight some of the lesser known images such as her Pictorialist work, Mammoth Caves or even her studio exterior so intimately described in the text. An analysis of a worker as prolific as Johnston, bestows an abundance of material to share. While reading this book, it is not difficult to imagine Johnston hustling about making photographs. It is fun to see the photograph Berch included of Johnston standing by her car preparing for one of her many motor trips. In 1973, Anne Tucker published her seminal book, The Woman's Eye with the opening line, "Is anatomy destiny?" A study of Frances Benjamin Johnston safely puts that question to rest.

Ruth Bernhard: Between Art and Life

Margaretta K. Mitchell  
Ruth Bernhard

From the Publisher
Ruth Bernhard: Between Art & Life is the first biography of this charismatic woman who kept her personal promise to infuse her art with life, and live her life through art." "At a time when women were rarely acknowledged in photography, Ruth carved out her own trademark style. With such zest for life and art, she has often ignored society's conventions related to age or gender. This individuality combined with great wisdom has attracted generations of devoted students. For over forty years Ruth has enjoyed a distinguished career as a revered workshop teacher and lecturer. Even into her nineties, her sparkling personality has not diminished. Ruth Bernhard: between Art & Life shares this beloved artist's recipe for a long and creative life.

Foreword 6
Introduction 9
My Life 21
Coming of Age 49
Giving My Heart to Photography 63
San Francisco 91
Teaching 119
Voices 138
Afterword 152
Selected Lectures and Accolades 153
Acknowledgments 154
Selected Exhibitions 155
Beloved Edward/Darling Ruth 156
Index 158

Format: Hardcover, 172pp.
ISBN: 0811821919
Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
Pub. Date: September  2000

Also recommended: Ruth Bernhard: The Eternal Body
Format: Hardcover, 70pp.
ISBN: 0961651512
Publisher: Photography West Graphics, Incorporated
Pub. Date: January  1986
Edition Desc: 1st ed


Format: Hardcover, 1st ed., 224pp.
ISBN: 0821221701
Publisher: Bulfinch Press
Pub. Date: October  1999

As director of the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego

Historically, many artists have established a symbiotic relationship with their favorite model, and some have taken it a step further and married their models (or made models of their wives). In The Model Wife, Arthur Ollman explores the relationship between nine of the most talented and influential photographers of the past century, including Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz, and Lee Friedlander, and their model-spouses.

From the Publisher
With provocative photographs by some of the best-known photographers of the past century, The Model Wife is a striking and original book about the place where marriage and photography converge.. "Friends, lovers, confidantes, collaborators - the multifaceted relationship between husband and wife takes on another dimension when the couple are also artist and muse. In The Model Wife, Arthur Ollman explores the imagery and photographic history of nine twentieth-century photographers who portrayed their wives over a period of years. He delves into issues of marriage itself and the powerful influences that such a partnership can have on artistic production. Comparisons between the couples and the resulting photographs enrich this discussion.

:Baron Adolph de Meyer and Baroness Olga de Meyer Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe Edward Weston and Charis Weston Harry Callahan and Eleanor Callahan Emmet Gowin and Edith Gowin Lee Friedlander and Maria Friedlander Nicholas Nixon and Bebe Nixon Masahisa Fukase and Yoko Fukase Seiichi Furuya and Christine Gossler

You will see a fairly good representation of images with their wives as subject by nine important photographers (150 in black and white and 5 in color). These photographs show an intriguing progression of perception and relationship over time that you can and should judge for yourself. In almost all cases, the images cover at least a decade (and often more) so the time-lapse element of the relationship is strong.

In Real Life: Six Women Photographers

Leslie Sills  
Cindy Sherman (Photographer)  
Lola Alvarez Bravo (Photographer)

Format: Hardcover, 1st ed., 80pp.
ISBN: 0823414981
Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
Pub. Date: September  2000
sales rank: 100,476

From School Library Journal  
Gr 6 Up-A celebration of the diverse careers and artistic styles of six photographers whose work spans nearly a century. Veterans Dorothea Lange, Imogen Cunningham, and Lola Alvarez Bravo are featured along with relative newcomers Elsa Dorfman, Carrie Mae Weems, and Cindy Sherman. In an upbeat voice, Sills traces the women's early lives and the events that propelled them to explore the world with a camera in hand, often breaking down ethnic and gender barriers in the process. While she does justice to the biographical details of her subjects, her discussions of their individual techniques suffer because there are too few photographs. The chapter on Lange, for example, has only nine photographs, and while five of them depict her evocative portraits of Dust Bowl refugees, they fail to reveal the breadth of her talent. Chapters on Bravo and Weems include just six representative works of each artist. However, an excellent bibliography and list of Web sites will point readers to sources containing additional visual elements.-William McLoughlin, Brookside School, Worthington, OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Early Work of Cindy Sherman 

From the Publisher
This volume contains two early photographic series—"Bus Riders" and "Murder Mystery People"—by Cindy Sherman, shot in 1976, soon after she graduated from art school. It is accompanied by a CD of found sound-based music by The Glove Compartment, aka Gian Carlo Feleppa.

Format: Hardcover, 40pp.
ISBN: 0965402037
Publisher: Glenn Horowitz Bookseller
Pub. Date: May  2001

Cindy Sherman: Retrospective

Amanda Cruz
Elizabeth Smith

Sherman made her name as a photographer with a sequence of self-portraits
in the form of movie stills, and since then she has remained one of the most influential of contemporary artists. This is a well-illustrated catalog to a major retrospective of her work that has been co-organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. 210 color illustrations


Lenders to the Exhibition
Movies, Monstrosities, and Masks: Twenty Years of Cindy Sherman 1
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters 19
Tracing the Subject with Cindy Sherman 33
Plates 55
Checklist of the Exhibition 197
Artist's Biography 201
Selected Bibliography 208
Acknowledgments 218

Format: Paperback, 2nd ed., 220pp.
ISBN: 050027987X
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Pub. Date: August 2000

Annie Leibovitz - WOMEN

Susan Sontag
Annie Leibovitz (Photographer)

Women, award-winning photographer Annie Leibovitz celebrates the rich and varied roles women play in society at the dawn of the new millennium. Here are the celebrity photos -- Jodie Foster, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Elizabeth Taylor -- for which Leibovitz is perhaps best known, but they stand alongside stunning depictions of less famous women -- an astronaut, a rancher, a dancer, an architect -- whose contributions to the world we live in are no less valuable for being less celebrated. Susan Sontag contributes an insightful and thought-provoking essay.

A book of photographs; a book about women; a very American project: generous, ardent, inventive, open-ended. It's for us to decide what to make of these pictures. After all, a photograph is not an opinion. Or is it?


Format: Paperback, 256pp.
ISBN: 0375756469
Publisher: Random House, Incorporated
Pub. Date: October  2000
Edition Desc: REPRINT
sales rank: 18,954

Florence Henri, Artist-Photographer of the Avant-Garde: 
Artist Photographs of the Avant-Garde

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 
Florence Henri

Format: Paperback, 158pp.
ISBN: 0918471176
Publisher: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Pub. Date: January  1992

Florence Henri (1893-1982) was born in the United States but spent most of
her life in France, where she was closely associated with major figures of
European modernism. Initially a student of painting at Fernand Léger and
Amdée Ozenfant's Académie Moderne in Paris, she quickly became a gifted
participant in the most advanced art movements of the time -- late Cubism,
Purism, and Constructivism. In 1928, having spent a semester at the Bauhaus
in Dessau, she turned to the camera and moved swiftly from the avant-garde of
one art form to the avant-garde of another. For a heady ten years before the
interruption of World War II, Henri created an extraordinary body of
work--still lifes, abstract compositions, advertising photographs, and
photomontages--that contributed to the development of geometric abstract art
and of modern photography in France. Florence Henri: Artist-Photographer of
the Avant-Garde is the first extensive treatment of Henri's work published in
the English language. This richly illustrated monograph offers a concentrated
examination of the artist in the context of her time, focusing on the
remarkably productive period between the world wars when she realized her
most avant-garde efforts.

To purchase this publication, please call 415.357.4035, fax 415.357.4043, or

Our Mothers: Portraits by 72 Women Photographers

Viviane Esders

Format: Hardcover, 160pp.
ISBN: 1556704429
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Inc.
Pub. Date: March  1996

Description from The Reader's Catalog
Portraits of their mothers and themselves by, among others, Annie Leibovitz, Mary Ellen Mark, Inge Morath, Elizabeth Lennard, and Gisele Freund.

From the Publisher
Our Mothers is a remarkable collection of portraits and essays by women photographers of different generations, cultures, and races. Paris gallery owner and editor, Viviane Esders, offered each photographer the opportunity to fill a double page spread with words and pictures describing her mother. All of the participants presented Esders with a unique artistic capsule that illustrates the indestructible bond between mother and daughter. Some provided their own portraits, others submitted a beloved family photograph &3151 often of a beautiful young woman before she became a mother — and a few created a work of art to best symbolize their perception of mother. These seventy-two personal statements illuminate the magical, often mystical, sometimes emotional, but always fascinating relationships between mothers and daughters. And the international quality of these portraits reinforces the universality of such relationships.

The Witch of Kodakery: The Photography of Myra Albert Wiggins, 1869-1956

Carole Glauber  
Myra Albert Wiggins

From the Publisher
The Witch of Kodakery is the ground-breaking biography of Myra Albert Wiggins, the successful early 20th-century Oregon photographic artist with connections to Alfred Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession. Myra Wiggins (1869-1956) embodied the ideal of the "new woman" - independent, energetic, and ambitious - as depicted by the Eastman Kodak Company's "Kodak Girl" and promoted as "The Witchery of Kodakery." In Witch of Kodakery, biographer Carole Glauber resurrects Wiggins' pioneering role with a provocative text and fine examples of the artist's work, particularly from Wiggins' most prolific years, 1889 to the early 1910s. Also included is a foreword by Terry Toedtemeier, curator of photography at the Portland Art Museum.

Format: Hardcover, 152pp.
ISBN: 0874221498
Publisher: Washington State University Press
Pub. Date: July  1997

Reframings: New American Feminist Photographies

Diane Neumaier (Editor)  
Foreword by Anne Wilkes Tucker

Format: Paperback, 336pp.
ISBN: 1566393329
Publisher: Temple University Press
Pub. Date: August  1998

This "is a collection of contemporary, photo-based artworks and critical essays that examines feminist perspectives on the politics of visual representation and its impact on women's lives... {Themes include} gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, and age. The book is divided into eight... chapters that combine artworks and essays by known and unknown artists." (Choice)

From the Publisher
Concern about how women are represented, despite varied and often conflicting conceptions of feminism, is the underlying force in this collection. Eight critical essays grounded in feminist analysis explore the different issues that arise in these artists' visual representations, including social space, family life, child care, work, food, romance, sexuality, advertising, and consumer culture. They are feminist critics looking at feminist art, an act Diane Neumaier argues happens all too rarely as feminist critics have in the past busied themselves with critiquing dominant culture. Together these artworks and essays explore the dynamics of visual images and ideology, including expressions and interpretations of autobiographical photographic projects, self-representation of women's bodies, conflicting identities, and the relationship between photographer and

From Library Journal  
Some of the 45 women artists presented here are well known (e.g., Nan Goldin, Susan Meiselas, Anne Noggle, Cindy Sherman, and Carrie Mac Weems)

These photographers attempt to "reframe" women in positions of power and authority or to present images that aim to shock us into confronting the reality of women's roles in society. While the quality of the writing and reproductions is uneven, this book would be a valuable addition to collections of contemporary photography or women's studies.Kathleen Collins, New York Transit Museum Archives, Brooklyn

Pioneer Photographers of the Far West
A Biographical Dictionary, 1840-1865
Peter E. Palmquist and Thomas R. Kailbourn
Foreword by Martha A. Sandweiss

"A rare example of a readable and even entertaining reference book... here are tales of family drama and stories of business squabbles, accounts of the first women to pursue photography in the Far West, and the story of the first Chinese person to make pictures in San Francisco... A book which sets new standards for research and becomes an instant bible for anyone working in the fields of western American history or the history of photography."

"Distinguished by its imaginative breadth, its copious scholarship and its entertaining literary style, Pioneer Photographers of the Far West becomes the standard that future biographical compendia and photographic history books will aspire to match." From the Foreword by Martha A. Sandweiss

This extraordinarily comprehensive, well-documented, biographical dictionary of some 1,500 photographers (and workers engaged in photographically related pursuits) active in western North America before 1865 is enriched by some 250 illustrations, many of them previously unpublished.

Stanford University Press

pp. 704 ¾¾250 illustrations
cloth isbn: 0-8047-3883-1 ¾¾$125.00

Additional Books by Peter Palmquist

Parents at Last: Celebrating Adoption and the New Pathways to Parenthood
Cynthia V. N. Peck and Wendy Wilkinson, Photographs by Helen Kolikow Garber

For some, parenthood comes easily; for others, the path to parenthood is long and paved with challenges, not only physical but emotional and financial as well. In words and photographs, Parents at Last celebrates 32 couples and individuals who perservered in their quest to become parents, often in the face of formidable odds.

Hardcover: 50 b/w photographs
160 pages 11" x 8 3/4"
Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. ISBN 0-609-60290-X

No Easy Walk, Newark, 1980-1993
Text and photographs by Helen M. Stummer

The book depicts the suburbanites journey into the ghetto, records what she has experienced and celebrates the human spirit.

"No Easy Walk is enormously moving. Carol and her neighbors come vividly to life. The author nicely avoids the customary condescension of too many visitors in poor communities and infuses Newark's Central Ward with all the mixture of sorrow and courage that its residents display...Carol emerges as a woman of tremendous strength and dignity. I hope the book is widely read." - Jonathan Kozol.

Along with meaningful and compassionate photographs, Stummer has provided a brief history of Newark, highlighting its early strengths and clearly itemizing the steps along its decay.

Temple University Press
Philadelphia, 1994
140 pp 16x7
Softcover ISBN 1-566 39-242-x
Hardcover ISBN 1-566 39-243-8

Available at Barnes and Noble.

A History of Women Photographers by Naomi Rosenblum

Here is yet another publication that strives to rescue from oblivion the neglected achievements of women in the visual arts. Juxtaposing the past 155 years of photographic history with events from women's social history, Rosenblum (A World History of Photography, LJ 2/1/85) documents women's contributions to the technological, artistic, and experimental development of photography. Her feminist narrative explores women's creativity both as a means of self-expression and as a lucrative profession. The 36 color plates, along with over 200 black-and-white illustrations, include fine examples of portraiture, advertising, and photojournalism. The last section contains valuable thumbnail biographies of approximately 240 female photographers-from the obscure to the famous-whose illustrations appear in the text. An ambitious bibliography makes this a prime tool and stimulus for researchers. Highly recommended for photography, women's studies, and young adult collections. -- From Library Journal Joan Levin, MLS

Hardcover,Ó2nd ed.,Ó400pp.
ISBN: 0789206587
Abbeville Press, Incorporated
AugustÓ 2000


Allworth Press Catalog List

WIPI suggested reading list of Allworth Press titles.
Please check their web site for more titles about The Business of Photography, Education and Promotion.

The Photographer's Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion by Maria Piscopo (How to Find and Keep Good Paying Clients)

*** Maria is contributing writer to WIPI Marketing News. See our current and archival issues for her articles.

Well-known photographers' representative discusses specific and effective ways to build a marketing plan. Emphasis on how to establish long-term relationships. Includes discussion of pricing, taking advantage of market conditions and negotiating.

"Piscopo's book is full of specific practical information that takes into account today's difficult economic climate for commercial photographers...Promotion pieces, portfolios, advertising, public relations, rates, reps and the ethics of good business are just a few of the other topics covered in this excellent manual." --Popular Photography

6 3/4 x 10, 176 pages Softcover
ISBN 1-880559-24-2

ASMP Professional Business Practices in Photography by ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers)

Fifth Edition, unquestionably the authoritative source of information on business practices, standards, and resources for professional photographers.

6 3/4 x 10, 416 pages, Softcover
ISBN 0-927629-14-3

Business and Legal Forms for Photographers by: Tad Crawford

Covers electronic rights, essential forms and negotiation tactics. Includes an estimate form; confirmation of assignment, invoice; agency contract; releases and much more. A CD-ROM w/electronic versions of each form is provided.

8 1/2 x 11, 224 pages Softcover
ISBN 1-8890559-82-X

The Law (in Plain English) for Photographers by: Leonard DuBoff

A thorough discussion of the legal and business issues of everyday concern in professional photography. Topics covered include: copyright, defamation and libel, censorship and obscenity, business organization and taxes, working and living space, contracts and remedies, agents, estate planning and more.

6x9, 208 pages; Softcover
ISBN 1-880559-19-6

Pricing Photography by: Michael Heron & David MacTavish

This essential resource for photographers, art directors, and graphic designers explains how to price both assignment and stock photography and gives detailed pricing carts for every use from a magazine ad to a mug. Revised and updated, it covers pricing for electronic rights as well as new developments in business. (Also see ASMP above, both a must to be well informed on the business of Photography)

11 x 8 1/2, 152 pages, Softcover
ISBN: 1-880559-68-4


Purchase Books From:

Allworth Press Catalog

For articles, see F2 eZine Archive 8 - Oct - Dec 2001