Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

B&H Photography Podcast

The B&H Photography Podcast, a weekly conversation about all things photography. With insightful and entertaining guests, we discuss the issues most important to the contemporary photographer.

Mar 8, 2023

Women photographers take center stage in this week’s show, in celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. We reveal the blind spot of photo history in a chat about the book A World History of Women Photographers, with photo historian and co-author Luce Lebart and contributing writer Pauline Vermare.

Gracing the pages of this book’s 500-page heft are images and stories behind 300 women photographers, spanning both photo history and geographic reach. Listen in to learn about the exhaustive process Lebart and co-author Marie Robert undertook to find this range of talent and then commission essays from 160 women writers and curators. We also discuss how the position of women within photography has changed over time and across cultures. There are fresh discoveries to be made by even the most ardent photography devotees, as illustrated by the many photographer names and related resources we mention during the episode, also listed below in our show notes. 

Guests: Luce Lebart and Pauline Vermare

Top shot © The National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavik

Episode Timeline


4:17: Luce Lebart describes the editorial statement behind the book A World History of Women Photographers as a manifesto to complete a history that already exists.


10:14: Back stories about women working as picture editors, art directors, designers, and art buyers in photo industry trenches, with male photographers as hunter gathers in the field. 

13:32: The international network behind the research for this book. Which came first—the contributing writers or featured photographers?


21:21: The matter of women photographers who stayed in the shadow of a master or did not receive equal recognition as her spouse.


26:45: Avoiding the pitfall of a western centered approach in the geographical representation of photographers selected for the book


30:56: Additional book projects and databases of women photographers.


33:44: Episode break


34:38: Pauline Vermare describes differences between France and America in their respective approaches to photography.


38:36: Pauline discusses the Japanese women photographers she wrote about for the book.


45:00: American photographer Nancy Burson’s stature as a forerunner of current trends for AI generated photographs.

49:40: How A World History of Women Photographers encourages questions of readers, inspiring Pauline to create a forthcoming book on Japanese women photographers.

Guest Bios:

Luce Lebart is co-author, with Marie Robert, of A World History of Women Photographers. A photography historian and curator currently based in Paris, she is a researcher for the Archive of Modern Conflict, a collection and publishing house based between London and Toronto. Luce served as director of the Canadian Institute of Photography from 2016 to 2018, after spending five years directing the collections of the French Society of Photography in Paris.

Pauline Vermare is a French photography curator and historian based in New York. A contributing writer to A World History of Women Photographers, she was formerly the cultural director of Magnum Photos in New York, a curator at the International Center of Photography and the Museum of Modern Art. From 2002 to 2009, she worked at the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, in Paris. 

Stay Connected:

A World History of Women Photographers English language edition:

A World History of Women Photographers French edition:

Luce Lebart Website:

Luce Lebart Facebook: ?

Luce Lebart Instagram:

Luce Lebart Twitter:

Mauvaises Herbes (Weeds) exhibit:

Photo Europea Photo Festival:

Pauline Vermare curated Kunie Sugiura Exhibit at Alison Bradley Projects:

Recently curated exhibition of Northern Ireland photos by women photographers:

Co-curated exhibition of 10 contemporary Japanese women photographers:

Recent interview on Pauline’s Japanese women photographers project

Women Photographers mentioned in the podcast:

Anna Atkins - United Kingdom, 1799 - 1871

Amilie Guillot-Saguez -1810, France – 1864, Algeria

Constance Talbot - United Kingdom, 1811 - 1880

Julia Margaret Cameron - 1815, India – 1879, Sri Lanka

Alice Seeley Harris – United Kingdom, 1870 - 1970

Clara Sipprell - 1885, Canada – 1975, United States

Tsuneko Sasamoto – Japan, b. 1914

Tokyo Tokiwa – Japan, b. 1930

Claudia Andujar - Switzerland, b. 1931

Yildiz Moran - Turkey, 1932 - 1995

Sara Facio - Argentina, b. 1932

Hilla Becher - Germany, 1934 - 2015

Abigail Heyman - United States, 1942 – 2013

Nancy Burson - United States, b. 1948

Lesley Lawson – South Africa, b. 1952

Marilyn Nance - United States, b. 1953

Pushpamela N. - India, b. 1956

Pior Arke - Greenland, 1958 - 2007

Angele Etourdi Essamba - Cameroon, b. 1962

Dina Templeton - United States, b. 1969

Zanele Muholi – South Africa, b. 1972 

Databases featuring Women Photographers:

WOPHA, Women Photographers International Archive:

Women Photograph database (and new book):

10x10 Photobooks:

Fast Forward: