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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Grete Kolliner

Grete attended the Höhere Graphische Bundes-Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt from 1910 – 1915 and worked as an assistant at the school until 1916....

Hannah Höch

Hannah Höch

From being the only woman associated with the Berlin Dada movement to evolving her craft for more than half a decade, Hannah Höch created photomontages that commented on politics, gender roles and popular culture....

Hansel Mieth

Hansel Mieth

Hansel Mieth was a German-born photojournalist, most notable for capturing the dire conditions of working-class Americans in the 1930s and 1940s...

Harriet Tytler

A true pioneer of photographic practices in the 1800s, she created over 300 photographs in collaboration with her husband....

Helen Levitt

One of America’s foremost street photographers, Helen Levitt captured the energy of the streets of Spanish Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx through her candid, quirkily framed shots of children at play....

Portrait photograph of HM Queen Elizabeth II, on the occasion of her Accession: a half-length portrait, turned slightly to her left, face. She wears the George IV Diamond Diadem, the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace, the star and badge of the Order of the Garter on a sash, over a satin evening dress, designed by Norman Hartnell. The Queen is also wearing a diamond and platinum bracelet that was given as a wedding present by Prince Philip. This was designed by Philip Antrobus, using stones taken a from a tiara that had belonged to Prince Philip's mother Princess Andrew of Greece. She is also holding a fan in her left hand.

Heroines & The Crown

The Queen is probably the most photographed person in the world, but the royal photographer closest to our hearts is Dorothy Wilding, who was born within a mile of the Heroines Hub in Gloucester....

Hou Bo

Chinese photojournalist Hou Bo (1924 – 2017) documented the rise of Mao Zedong from 1939 to 1968 in over 400 photographs as the official photographer of The Great Leader. She created most of the iconic images of Mao’s reign but fell...

Ida Kar

Ida Kar

Ida Kar was a woman of many origins who became most well-known for her portraits of London artistic circles, becoming the ‘Bohemian Photographer’....

Isle Bing

Ilse Bing

Ilse Bing (1899–1998) was a German-born inter-war photographer who worked in photojournalism and portraiture in Paris and New York. She worked in the modernist style and innovated using solarisation and night photography. Her work was...

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