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AGAINST THE ODDS
Martin W. Sandler

Rizzoli, 2002
Hardcover
186 pages
Fully illustrated, black & white.
ISBN: 0847823040

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The documented history of women's critical role in the development and proliferation of photography in the 100 years after its invention remains incomplete - despite the fact that the medium was invented more than 150 years ago. Pulitzer Prize nominee Martin Sandler's Against the Odds, with its carefully balanced commentary on women who have been lost in the historical record as well as those who have received their due, makes a vital contribution to the literature on women photographers.

This volume surveys over thirty ground breaking women who were able to negotiate the conventional boundaries of their time in order to forge successful careers and build distinguished bodies of work. This publication includes work by Dorothea Lange, who poignantly documented the hardships of Depression-era sharecroppers and Berenice Abbott, who is best known for her evocative shots of New York City. Margaret Bourke-White's considerable influence is detailed as the photo-journalist who set the standard for press images through her work at Life magazine. Lesser known figures - who were well-known in their time - such as early portraitists Catherine Barnes Ward and Frances Benjamin Johnston, captured turn-of-the-century African-American daily life and as such contribute considerably to our understanding of America's past. We also see the work of Toni Frissell, a World War II photographer who authored the print that became Winston Churchill's official portrait.

A substantive and substantial complement to a history fragmented for far too long, Against the Odds recommends itself to those interested in the extraordinary accomplishments of women in the single most important technological advance of the nineteenth century.

 

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