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
By the 1990s, women photographers weren’t just in the game, they were knocking it out of the park, with Cindy Sherman, Annie Liebovitz, and Sally Mann among the best known artists in the world. But with successful careers, came crowded, more complicated lives.
In 2018, as corporate America struggles to retain women who juggle work, children, and aging parents, often opting out, PWP continues to offer a haven of support and a way to stay in touch with the field on their own terms.
Meryl Meisler says: “I joined PWP shortly around 1983, shortly before the Art Parade. Half jokingly I refer to PWP as my adult “Girl Scout Troop.” Being part of a positive and supportive community of people who share a passion for photography has helped me stay true to my inner desire and not give up. I’ve made some of my best friends through PWP, been graciously given honest advice, as well as opportunities to have my work exhibited and published. One member even wrote the introduction to both my books. Kudos to PWP!”
“In the ’90s, the number of women photographers grew substantially. Many have become equally successful to men…. Nevertheless, there’s still a need to hear women speak about how they have created lives for themselves combining photography with other demands in our lives such as parenting and partnering.”
For all the fun, PWP is part of a long tradition of women’s organizations dedicated to strengthening member resolve, improving skills, and providing opportunities for leadership. It is a place for friendship and learning, reinvention and second acts; a room of their own where women can share their lives and art without judgment or fear.
In 2002, a PWP exhibition showed that the issue of life balance is never far from women’s minds, including those behind the lens:
– 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: