30 For 30: Spreading the Word

To celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re featuring items from the PWP Archives* each day on this blog. In looking back, we see not only where we started, but how far photography, women, and the world have come since 1975.

In a day before the Internet, many women photographers felt isolated and alone. Information on careers in the field came via newspapers and magazines, where women had long been underrepresented. There were very few role models for them, and little encouragement. They didn’t know that others struggled, or what was possible. So improving communication and creating a community for women photographers were important to PWP from the start. Through newsletters it kept subscribers up to date on meetings, industry trends, and the careers of successful women photographers, such as Frances McLaughlin-Gill and Eva Rubinstein.

Early PWP newsletters showcasing speakers Frances McLaughlin-Gill and Eva Rubinstein
Early PWP newsletters showcasing speakers Frances McLaughlin-Gill and Eva Rubinstein

The early newsletters from the 1970s and 80s were typewritten and assembled with Wite-Out and tape.

1979 PWP Newsletter draft
1979 PWP Newsletter draft

The PWP Times was a more elaborate publication modeled after The New York Times. Conceived by Dianora Niccolini, PWP’s first president, it is now a collector’s item.

June 1981 issue of "The PWP Times"
June 1981 issue of “The PWP Times”

Like the early newsletters, it was assembled by paste up, and paid tribute to prominent women photographers like Lisette Model, Eve Arnold, and Barbara Morgan. By writing about their struggles and success, PWP hoped to inspire others on what was often a lonely and discouraging path.

"The PWP Times" final copy and draft layouts
“The PWP Times” final copy and draft layouts
"The PWP Times" issue dedicated to Lisette Model, image ©Stephanie Cohen
“The PWP Times” issue dedicated to Lisette Model, image ©Stephanie Cohen

– Catherine Kirkpatrick

*The PWP Archives were acquired by the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, & Rare Book Library of Emory University

Links to all the 30 For 30 Women’s History Month blogs:
Help Me Please! Hopelessly Waiting…
Exhibition and Anger
Spreading the Word
Early Ads On Paper
Cards and Letters
A Lady, a Truck, a Singing Dog
Women of Vision
A Show of Their Own
Taking It To the Street
Sisters of Sister Cities
Education and More
Face of a Changing City
Digital Enabling
Expanding Walls and Other Possibilities
A Wonderful Life–Lady Style
Branding–the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The Great Change Sweeps In
PWP Goes Live!
Honoring the Upcoming
Continuity Through Change
Reaching Out
Eye a Woman Naked
Rapidly Multiplying Alternative Options
Women In the World, As Themselves
Friends Who Overcame and Inspired
Reversing the Gaze
Photography and More
Chicks Telling It Like It Is
Looking Back With Thanks











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