Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.
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Where are the women?

Jan 20, 2019 - Paula McCartney


I teach photography at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and again this semester, the majority of my students are women.  The 2018 book, How We See, Photobooks by Womenpublished by 10×10 Photobooks begins with an alarming statistic-photobooks by women account for 16.2% of publishers titles. Yikes.


Even scarier, a week after reading this, I pulled a group of books for reference for my photobook class’ first assignment and I realized only 3 out of 10 books in the stack were by women.  The well-known books that easily came to mind were mostly by male photographers. I continued to search the shelves until I found equally strong examples by women photographers to add to the stack, ending up with 7 books by men and 7 by women.


I’ve been fortunate to have my work published as have many of the men andwomen I went to grad school with. However, Photo-eye bookstore (United States) published a list of 78 photographer’s favorite book of 2018. Of the books listed (and thus promoted) only 17 were by women.  It takes awareness and effort to equally represent women because the unfortunate reality is that their work just isn’t published as often as men. So in the spirit of effort (it took me an hour to research this short list), here are some books by women published in 2018 that don’t appear on Photo-eye’s list:


Hannah Starkey, Photographs 1997 – 2017

Penelope Umbrico, Out Of Order: Bad Display III 

Anna Ostoya & Ben Lerner, The Polish Rider

Rosalind Fox Solomon, Liberty Theater

Vanessa Winship, And Time Folds

Jo Ann Walters & Emma Kemp, Blue Pool Cecelia

Alexandra Catiere, Behind the Glass

Pixy Liao Experimental Relationship Vol. 1.

Sophie Calle, Parce Que

Tanyth Berkeley, The Walking Women

Magali Duzant, Light Blue Desire

Anna Atkins, ‘Sun Gardens: Cyanotypes by Anna Atkins’

Brenda Ann Kenneally, ‘Upstate Girls’

Tara Wray Too Tired for Sunshine

Bieke Depoorter, As It May Be