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.

Toni Frissell

Born into a wealthy New York banking family, legendary photographer Antoinette ‘Toni’ Frissell Bacon (1907 – 1988) was introduced to photography in her twenties by her filmmaker brother Varick....

Ruby Washington

As the first African-American woman hired as a staff photographer for the New York Times, Ruby Washington (1952-2018) was a true pioneer....

Zofia Rydet

For Zofia Rydet (1911-1997), photography was the perfect medium to express all human stories; through her work, she felt that she was capturing the essence of what it meant to be human....

Portrait Evelyn Hofer (Detail), 1951

Evelyn Hofer

The German-born American artist Evelyn Hofer (1922-2009) is considered one of the foremost female photographers of the ‘New Objectivity’ style....

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....

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 Hughes (1857 – 1939)
  • 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 Morgan (1900-1992)
  • 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)
  • Joan Leigh Fermor (1912-2003)
  • 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!