Historical Heroines

Heroines of the past who were active at some point between the late 18th century and the mid-20th century.

From Alice to Yva, explore the archive of Historical Heroines and learn about the rich lives and careers of pioneering women photographers. As we continue our mission, our online archives will continue grow.

Researched, written and curated by our volunteers. If you would like to contribute to this valuable resource, sign up to volunteer today.

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Alice Austen

Alice Austin (1866-1952) was one of the first women to work outside the photographic studio, documenting New York City as well as intimate relationships between Victorian women...

Ann Cooke

Ann Cooke

Ann Cooke is credited as being the first female photographer in Britain to open a professional photographic portrait studio....

Anna Atkins

Anna Atkins was the first person to create a book made entirely from photographic images and is widely acclaimed for her use of British algae cyanotypes....

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....

young woman with camera and cigarette looking straight into camera

Annemarie Schwarzenbach

Recognized as a notable LGBTQ+ fashion icon and an accomplished twentieth-century author, Annemarie Schwarzenbach was also a prolific photographer....

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Bertha Wehnert-Beckmann

During my time, I witnessed Germany’s last emperor Wilhelm II outline a role for women, which was later adopted by the Nazis: Kirche, Küche, Kinder. This translates as ‘church, kitchen and children’ -- three words that seemed to sum up...

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