Women have been at the forefront of photography since its invention. From Julie Cameron to Alice Austen, Imogen Cunningham, Hansel Mieth, and Frances Benjamin Johnston. But I am impressed by the work of Berenice Abbott.
She was born in Ohio and moved to New York City which many people said you can’t do. But she did. She changed her name from Bernice to Berenice at the suggestion of another artist.
She was an assistant for Man Ray in his studio, and when people started asking for her instead of him, he fired her. She went on to have quite a career as a portrait and architectural photographer.
Berenice is the one responsible for saving Eugene Atget’s negatives and introducing the world to his documentary photographs of Paris.
“The world doesn’t like independent women, why, I don’t know, but I don’t care” – Berenice Abbott
Some of her portraits are here: https://www.exibartstreet.com/…/berenice-abbott…/
Good write-up about her from the NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/…/berenice-abbott-julia-van…
Photos by her and Eugene Atget, including her portrait of him: https://artblart.com/…/berenice-abbott-new-york-stock…/
Here book is a worthwhile read: https://www.abebooks.com/Berenice-Abbott-Life-Photography-Haaften-Julia/30918323184/bd
This photo of New York at night is probably her most famous photograph.