In order to pay homage to the great women photographers who came before, we have created our Historical Heroines archives.

Browse the pioneers of photography; Historical Heroines who created work during the 18th Century up to the mid-20th Century and Legacy Heroines who were active during the mid-20th Century up to the present day.

Emma Rayson Barton

Emma Barton (1872–1938) was an English Pictorialist portrait photographer active between 1899 and the end of WW1 and at the height of her fame she was the most published female photographer of her time....

Jane Bown CBE

In 1949 Jane Bown (1925–2014) began working for The Observer newspaper. It was a partnership that would last over 60 years and lead to her photographing the leading political, cultural and royal figures of the day....

Marion Post Wolcott_Women_In_Photography_Black_And_White_Photography_Hundred_Heroines

Marion Post Wolcott

After studying under Trude Fleischmann in Vienna, Marion Post Wolcott (1910-1990) traveled back to America to document the rural south...

Thereza Story-Maskelyne_Women_In_Photography_Black_And_White_Photography_Hundred_Heroines

Thereza Rucker Story-Maskelyne

Coming from an intellectual Welsh family who made early strides in science and photography, Thereza Story-Maskelyne (née Dillwyn Llewelyn) (1834-1926) is a true pioneer...

Olive Edis

Mary Olive Edis (1876-1955) opened her first studio with sister in Norfolk, UK. She was one of the first women to accepted as a member of the RPS....

Alexandra Boulat

Alexandra Boulat (1962-2007) photographed wars from women's perspectives, paving the way for other women in photography to do the same....

Trude Fleischmann

Trude Fleischmann (1895 – 1990) was an Austrian-born American photographer, one of a group of young, confident, Jewish, female photographers opening their own studios in Vienna after World War I....

Shima Ryū

Ryu Shima (1823-1900) took what is the earliest known photograph to be created by a Japanese woman in 1864, and it was a wet-plate of Kakoku, her husband....

Elizabeth Le Blond

The Irish-heiress turned mountaineering photographer, Elizabeth Le Blond (1860-1934) has not only been credited by being one of the first people to reach many European summits but also as one of the first female filmmakers....

Miss Woods, circa 1905 © Estate of Minna Keene : courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

Minna Keene

Often referred to as Canada’s first professional woman photographer, Minna was born in Germany in 1861....

Yva

One of the premier fashion and portrait photographers of the 20s and 30s in Germany, ‘Yva’ produced elegant fashion portraits, photomontages and advertising work in Berlin from 1925 until the Nazi’s closed her studio. She was killed in...

Anne Fischer, ca. 1935-36

Anne Fischer

German photographer Anne Fischer (1914 - 1986) left Germany in 1937 to become a fine portrait photographer and to specialise in dance photography....

Alphabetical List

A

  • Aase Goldsmith (1942 – 2015)
  • Abigail Heyman (1942 – 2013)
  • Agnes Varda (1928 – 2019)
  • Alexandra Boulat (1962 – 2007)
  • Alice Austin (1866 – 1952)
  • Alice Guy Blaché (1873 – 1968)
  • Alice Schalek (1874 – 1956)
  • Alison Gernsheim (1911 – 1969)
  • Amelia Elizabeth Guppy (1808 – 1886)
  • Amélie Galup (1856 – 1943)
  • Ana Mendieta (1948 – 1985)
  • Anja Niedringhaus (1965 – 2014)
  • Ann Cooke (1796 – 1870)
  • Anna Atkins (1799 – 1871)
  • Anne Brigman (1869 – 1950)
  • Anne Fischer (1915 – 1986)
  • Anni Schulz  (1897 – 1943)
  • Annie Blake (1848 – 1928)
  • Anno Wilms (1935 – 2016)
  • Arlene Gottfried (1950 – 2017)
  • Aubrey Le Blond, Mrs  (1860-1934)
  • Augusta Mostyn/Henrietta Augusta Nevill , Lady (1830 – 1912)

B

  • Barbara Ker-Seymer (1905 – 1993)
  • Barbara Pflaum  (1912 – 2002)
  • Beatrice Freyberger  (1901 – N/K)
  • Běla Kolářová (1923 – 2010)
  • Berenice Abbott (1898 – 1991)
  • Bertha Beckmann (1815 – 1901)
  • Bessie Raynor Parkes (1829 – 1925)
  • Betti Mautner (1892 – 1988)
  • Birgit Jürgenssen (1949 – 2003)
  • Blanche Henrietta Pechell née Shelley (1841 – 1898)
  • Bobbi Baker Burrows (1945 – 2018)

C

  • Camilla Koffler/Ylla (1911 – 1955)
  • Carolee Schneemann (1939 – 2019)
  • Caroline Emily Nevill, Lady  (1829 – 1887)
  • Caroline Margaret Kerrison, Lady (1819 – 1895)
  • Caroline Taylor (1810 – 1876)
  • Catherine Leroy (1944 – 2006)
  • Catherine Verschoyle (1800 – 1882)
  • Cecilia Glaisher (1828 – 1892)
  • Christina Broom (1862 – 1939)
  • Claire Aho (1925 – 2015)
  • Claude Cahun (1894 – 1954)
  • Clementina Hawarden, Lady (1822 – 1865)
  • Compton Collier (1899 – 19770
  • Constance Fox Talbot (1811 – 1880)
  • Consuelo Kanaga (1894 – 1978)
  • Corinne Day (1962 – 2010)
  • Constance Stuart Larrabee (1914 – 2000)

D

E

F

* dates not verified

G

H

  • Hanna Maynard  (1834 – 1918)
  • Hannah Höch  (1889 – 1978)
  • Hannah Wilke  (1940-1993)
  • Hansel Mieth (1909 – 1998)
  • Harriet Ann Tucker (1808 – 1875)
  • Harriet V S Thorne (1843 – 1926)
  • Harriet Tytler  (1828 – 1907)
  • Hazel Larsen Arche  (1921 – 2001)
  • Helena Almeida (1934 – 2018)
  • Helen Chadwick  (1953 – 1996)
  • Helen Gee  (1919 – 2004)
  • Helen Levitt  (1913 – 2009)
  • Helen Messinger Murdoch (1862 – 1956)
  • Henrietta Augusta Nevill , Lady/Augusta Mostyn  (1830 – 1912)
  • Hilla Becher (1934 – 2015)
  • Homai Vyarawalla  (1913 – 2012)

I

J

  • Jan Groover  (1943 – 2012)
  • Jane Bown  (1925 – 2014)
  • Jane Martha (1801 – 1882)
  • Jane Wigley (1820 – 1883)
  • Jennie Louise Van Der Zee/Madame E Toussaint Welcome  (1885 – 1956)
  • Jessica Piazzi Smyth (1815 – 1896)
  • Jessie Fergus (1794 – 1863)
  • Jessie Mann (1805 – 1867)
  • Jessie Tarbox Beals (1870 – 1942)
  • Jo Spence (1934 – 1992)
  • Julia Margaret Cameron (1815 – 1870)
  • Julia Pirotte (1907 – 2000)
  • Julia Shannon (1812 – 1852)
  • Justine Henrietta Ross née Macrae (1813 – 1894)

K

L

M

N

O

P

  • Pauline Trevelyan, Lady (1816 – 1866)
  • Penny Tweedie  (1940 – 2011)
  • Pepa Feldscharek  (1899 – 1962)
  • Polixeni Papapetrou   (1960 – 2018)

Q

Why not be the first to nominate a historical or legacy Heroine whose name begins with Q?

R

  • Reva Brooks (1913 – 2001)
  • Rita (Margarita) Weir Martin (1875 – 1958)
  • Rollie McKenna (1918 – 2003)
  • Rosa Jenik  (1853 – 1913)
  • Rose Mandel (1910 – 2002)
  • Ruby Washington  (1952 – 2018)
  • Ruth Bernhard  (1905 – 2006)
  • Ruth Orkin  (1921 – 1985)

S

  • Sarah Angeline Acland (1849 – 1930)
  • Sarah Anne Bright (1793 – 1866)
  • Sarah Holcomb (early 19th C.)
  • Sarah Louise Judd  (1802 – 1886)
  • Shima Ryū  (1823 – 1900)
  • Shirley Baker  (1932 – 2014)
  • Susan Eliza Evans née Gisborne  (1834 – 1891)
  • Sibylle Bergemann (1941 – 2010)

T

U

Why not be the first to nominate a historical or legacy Heroine whose name begins with U?

V

W

  • Winifred Casson  (1908 – 1969)
  • Winifred Hall Allen (Active 1930s)

XYZ

Active at some point between the late 18th Century
and the mid-20th Century

Historical Heroines

Active at some point between the mid-20th Century
and the present day

Legacy Heroines

In 2019, we asked the public to choose their top Hundred from this list.  The results can be found here.

Someone missing from our archive? Let us know!