Met’s show ‘The New Woman Behind the Camera’ opens lens on 20th-century history

On Sunday, the Museum of Contemporary Art unveiled a new exhibition, “The New Woman Behind the Camera,” which examines the impact of the women’s movement on American photography. The exhibition consists of 75 photographs, many of which were taken by the most celebrated female photographers of the 20th century, including Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and Lee Friedlander.

The Met is a celebrated museum in NYC and is a treasure trove of art and history. They also have film exhibits. And they have a new exhibit that opens today, “The New Woman Behind the Camera: Women Regain Control of the Camera”. The exhibit tells the story of the women who have been making and operating cameras since the invention of the camera.

Art historian and photography scholar Susan Sontag famously wrote that “photography has become the most important means of recording and preserving the visual world.” Now, in her book “The New Woman Behind the Camera,” she explores the social, cultural, and political implications of this new medium in the 20th century. The stories Sontag tells—from the political use of photography by the civil rights movement to the creation of “new woman” movements—offer a glimpse into the ways photography has shaped our society.. Read more about the new woman behind the camera met and let us know what you think.



The Met’s 200-plus image exhibition, “The New Woman Behind the Camera,” seeks to illustrate how women influenced contemporary photography from the 1920s through the 1950s. While the goal is lofty, an all-female event like this has a flaw.

Gender-focused exhibitions may exacerbate an already polarized art industry. Richard Woodward’s assessment of the Met exhibition in the Wall Street Journal has a hint of this.

Covert chauvinism is a kind of chauvinism that occurs when people

The high number of photos were “enlisted to support the thesis” that female photographers “opened up new creative horizons for themselves and other women,” according to Woodward. Did you notice the sarcastic reference to the images on display being “enlisted to support the thesis”?

This program isn’t about hypotheticals. The entrance of women into the field of photography is not a hypothesis. It’s a historical truth that women’s photography was novel in the twentieth century, opening up new avenues for female artists to express themselves. Why is it so difficult to admit that?

The gap between men and women may be seen in Nancy Kenney’s Art News evaluations. Compare and contrast her first salvo with Woodward’s. “Triumphant in their day, but virtually erased later,” as Kenney puts it, “a Met show examines ‘The New Woman Behind the Camera.’” It’s the same show. Sexes are different.

Getting to the point

Consider a single show at the Met to get away from the gender conflicts. It sticks out, and if you’re wondering why, the solution will probably come to you quickly.

Despite the fact that the photograph was taken during the Great Depression in 1936, it might just as well have been taken this morning.

You’ve most likely seen this picture before. Migrant Mother – Florence Owens Thompson and Her Children is a photograph by Dorothea Lange. She has a perplexed look on her face, as though she is wondering, “What do I do now?”

Isn’t it what every American mother must be wondering in the face of Covid-19 virus outbreaks, the Delta variation, and half the country’s refusal to seek vaccination protection?

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The tale is told in the headline of the New York Times. “The Delta Variant Spreads Worry in the Capitol.” “Americans’ optimism about the country’s future over the next year has dropped almost 20 points since May,” according to Global Media Arts.

One of such famous pictures is Lange’s. It’s the archetypal picture of the Great Depression in her instance, much as Joe Rosenthal’s photograph Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima of six American soldiers raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi is the iconic image of WWII.

The Marine Corps Memorial, a statue in Arlington Park, is based on the photograph.

A symptom of the times

Lange’s Migrant Mother isn’t commemorated with a monument, but it’s no less significant. I would say that Florence Owens Thompson’s fight for her children’s life demonstrates just as much courage as the six soldiers at Iwo Jima.

Lange’s Migrant Mother, according to Blake Gopnik, who reviewed the Met exhibition for ArtDaily, is “a wonderful work that depicts what so many Americans were going through at the time.” It’s strange that he didn’t think it was relevant to our day.


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