Legacy Heroines

Heroines of the past who were active at some point between the mid-20th century and the early 21st century.

From Agnès to Ylla, explore the archive of Legacy 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.

Nancy Sheung

Nancy Sheung

Chinese photographer Nancy Sheung was determined to break all the rules and conventions of her time, with unusual means to success....

Olive Cotton

Olive Cotton was one of the most important 20th century Australian modernist photographers. Based in Cowra, her pioneering work spanned the 1930s and 40s...

Pauline Jermyn Trevelyan

An art patron and collector of early photography, Pauline Jermyn Trevelyan (1816-1866) started her own photographic work creating sketches using a camera lucida while travelling Europe with her husband, an aristocrat geologist and botanist....

Penny Tweedie

British photojournalist Penelope Anne (Penny) Tweedie (1940-2011) covered the major political and humanitarian issues of the 60s and 70s with fearless and compassionate images....

polixeni Papapetrou

Polixeni Papapetrou

Polixeni Papapetrou (1960-2018) was an Australian photographer most recognized for her work on historical and contemporary culture....

Rose Mandel

Rose Mandel

The work of Rose Mandel shows a variety of dreamlike, symbolistic and abstract expressionistic images, charged with subtle meanings...

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....

Ruth Bernhard 'Lifesavers'

Ruth Bernhard

German photographer Ruth Bernhard studied at the Berlin Academy of Art. In 1927, she relocated to New York to begin a career in commercial photography....

American Girl in Italy, Florence, 1951 Ruth Orkin © Mary Engel & APAG.us

Ruth Orkin

Photojournalist Ruth Orkin was voted one of the Top Ten Women Photographers by the Professional Photographers of America in 1959...

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