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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Elisabeth Buchmeyer Lewis

Born in 1935, Elisabeth was a prolific photographer. By the time of her death in 2018, she had created a vast collection of images with immense social, political, and aesthetic value....

Portrait of Elisabeth Meyer by Ernest Rude. Courtesy of Preus Museum

Elisabeth Meyer

Elisabeth Meyer (1899 – 1968) was an early Norwegian photojournalist of the 1920s and 30s who documented her daring trips to Iran and India, as well as the local Sami people of Finnmark in her native Norway....

Aubry Le Blond Elizebeth Le Blond

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....

Ellen Auerbach_Hundred_Heroines_Women_In_Photography_20th_Century_Photographer_Black_And_White_Photographer

Ellen Auerbach

One half of ringl+pit, Jewish photographer Ellen Auerbach (1906-2004) created surreal images and used photography as a means of independence....

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....

Eva Besnyö

Eva Besnyö

After being gifted a Kodak Brownie, Eva Besnyö went on to open her own photography studio where she continually adapted her style...

Fanny Foster

Fanny Foster

Fanny Foster was a British photographer hired to document the 1929-1931 archaeological excavation at the Vinča-Belo Brdo tell in modern-day Serbia...

Florence Henri, Self-Portrait, 1928, gelatin silver print

Florence Henri

Florence Henri did not just live through arguably the most exciting period in the history of art – she was at its very frontier...

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