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Prints and Photographs Division



Graphic Journalism and Illustration
Photojournalism Collections
Documentary Surveys
Advertising and Propaganda
Pictures: Business and Art
Professional Photographers
Commercial Photographs of Native Americans
Detroit Publishing Company
Panoramic Photographs
Stereographs/Card Photos
arrow graphicIndividually Cataloged Photographs
Fine Prints
Popular Graphic Arts
Design Collections
Organizations' Records
Personal Papers



Individually Cataloged Photographs
see caption below

Women and children reading. Gertrude Käsebier. Between 1900 and 1910. Prints and Photographs Division.
bibliographic record

The line between the realms of commercial and art photographic production is often difficult to fix. Both types of photography explore various styles and effects. Nevertheless, the division has set aside photographic prints and portfolios of great aesthetic, technical, or historic importance in its individually cataloged Photographs Collection (3,500 photographs, 1842-present).

The collection features both notable works by women photographers and works focusing on women as subjects. A card catalog provides access by photographers' names, such as Eva Watson-Schütze (1867-1935), Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976), or Rosalind Solomon (b. 1930). The collection also comprises, for instance,

  • Laura Gilpin's (1891-1979) portraits of Native Americans and various celebrities, as well as work she did in the Southwest and in Central America
  • Gertrude Käsebier's (1852-1934) allegorical images of women
  • Doris Ulmann's (1884?-1934) photographs of the rural South

Within the collection of photographers' portfolios, there is a large variety of work by American women:

  • Berenice Abbott's (1898-1991) New York City buildings
  • Diane Arbus's (1923-1971) people at the fringes of society
  • Marilyn Bridges's (b. 1948) aerial photography
  • Barbara Brooks Morgan's (1900-1992) modern dancers
  • Dorothea Kehaya's (b. 1925) light and color effects
  • Lisette Model's (1901-1983) spontaneous street portraits

Searching the Collection

Many images for which copy photographs have been made can be retrieved in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. They do not have their own category in the catalog but can be retrieved by photographer's name and title. Images not found in the online catalog are listed in the Photographs Card Catalog.

Subject access to the material is limited. Researchers seeking fine art photographs depicting women do best to identify photographers whose work is of interest and then check the card catalog to see if work by that photographer is represented in the collections.

Because of the fragility of some of the photographic prints, advance arrangements may be required for viewing some original images.

Go to the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)

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