5 Historical Heroines born in February
Here are five women in photography to celebrate this month…
Vivian Maier born 1st February 1926
With a body of work spanning more than four decades, Vivian Maier (1926-2009) is one of the most prolific and distinctive American photographers of the mid to late twentieth century.
While she made no attempt to showcase her photographs during her lifetime, they have attracted widespread interest and critical acclaim posthumously.
She began experimenting with photography during a trip to her ancestral home in France, continuing to record her travels during an ambitious world tour in 1959 and 1960.
At the residence of her employers, Vivian kept a myriad of documentary materials including boxes of negatives, piles of newspapers, and audio recordings of conversations she had with the people she photographed. Thousands of these negatives remained undeveloped until her death.
Edith Barakovich born 14th February 1896
Edith Barakovich was a Serbian-born photographer whose work explored and was influenced by Vienna – the largest city in Austria and a prominent place within the world of art and fashion.
With her passion for photography, business acumen, and ability to attract the attention of the city’s rising stars, she opened a small studio that focused on fashion photographs and snapshots of high society.
In 1930, she relocated to Berlin and opened another studio which focused on fashion photography. However, her success in documenting the culture of Berlin was cut short in 1933 when the Nazis came to power.
Esther Bubley born 16th February 1921
From admiring Life magazine to photographing for the cover, Esther Bubley was a prolific freelance photographer during the golden age of American documentary photography. She became one of the first women to be able to financially support herself via a photographic career.
In 1941, Esther moved first to Washington, D.C. When no one wanted to hire a woman as a photographer, Esther moved to New York City where she continued to study photography and held a series of brief photography jobs, including working for Vogue.
Early in 1942, after men started to be drafted for WW2, Esther received a telegram that her services were urgently needed in Washington. Soon after, her boss recommended her to Roy Stryker and she became his darkroom assistant at the Office of War Information.
Fay Godwin born 17th February 1931
A pioneer of black and white photography, legendary photographer Fay Godwin (17th February 1931 – 27th May 2005) was renowned for her landscapes of the British coastline and countryside. Frequently using her photographs to draw attention to ecological harm, her critique Our Forbidden Land won the first Green Book of the Year Award – just one of the many accolades she received in her lifetime. Her arresting landscapes reveal her capacity for looking beyond the surface, uncovering the hidden stories weaved into the topography of familiar places.
Corinne Day born 19th February 1962
Transitioning from fashion model to fashion photographer, Corinne quit modelling and took her new candid style back to her hometown, London. In 1990, Corinne photographed a 15-year-old Kate Moss for The Face magazine.
Experiencing a hangover of 1980s excess, Corinne wanted to avoid heavy make-up, big hair and stylized poses; she boldly persisted with her unpolished, authentic style. Among numerous credits, she produced work for alternative magazines such as Raygun, Donna and Interview.