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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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...

A group of brown bottles stands on a table, beside a cactus, a lemon, and a small sculpture of a cherub.

Jan Groover

American photographer Jan Groover experimented with space, light, colour, and form in painterly, large-format still lives....

Jessie Tarbox Beals

Jessie Tarbox Beals (1870 –1942), Canadian-born American photographer and photojournalist, was the first published female photojournalist in the United States and the first female night photographer. She documented Greenwich Village...

Julia Diament Pirotte

Polish photojournalist Julia Diament Pirotte (1908 –2000) is known for her work in Marseille during the Second World War, when she documented the French Resistance and life under the occupation from 1940-1945....

Karimeh Abbud

Palestinian photographer, born in Bethlehem, later moved to Jerusalem, and died in Nazareth.She was unknown to historians or photographers, until 2007....

Kati Horna

Kati Horna

Compassionate and engaged, Mexican photojournalist Kati Horna introduced a personal and feminine approach to reportage photography...