Under the Hood

“But I always thought it was a man under that hood behind the camera!”
— Comment from a woman after learning that both men and women ran studios and were professional photographers in the 19th century.

Gertrude Käsebier (and friend), 1905; photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston
The photographer Gertrude Käsebier standing next to her camera, 1905. Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston (LOT 11733-5b)

“But I thought it was always a man under that hood behind the camera!”
— Signora D-, Verona, Italy, 2017

That’s a real comment I got from a longtime acquaintance when I explained that my current project is about early women artisan photographers before 1930.  It was too good not to share. Thanks, Signora D—!

The woman in the photo is the great photographer Gertrude Käsebier; look for her to be profiled in future episodes on the podcast.  The photo was taken by a woman named Frances Benjamin Johnston. Johnston was also an accomplished photographer in her own right — she’ll be profiled on the podcast at some point as well. If I can’t squeeze her into season one, then she’ll show up in season two.  As I always like to say, stay tuned…

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