Chair: Dr Michael Pritchard
Address: The National Media Museum, Bradford
Date: Saturday 21st November
Start: 11am – 4.30 National Media Museum, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1NQ
Thomas Galifot- About (some) women photographers 1839-1919
Thomas Galifot curator of photographs at the Musée d’Orsay, the French museum for national collections between 1848 and 1914. He curated a show on Women photographers 1839-1919 which is on view at the musée national de l’Orangerie, Paris, from October 14, 2015 to January 24, 2016.
Thomas’s talk will look at both amateur and professional, women photographers who have played a more significant role in the history of photography than has been accorded to WOMEN IN GENERAL in the field of the traditional fine arts. For the first time in France, the first eighty years of this phenomenon are the subject of an exhibition and a book.
When they are not previously unknown, the majority of the prints shown have never been exhibited in France and continental Europe.
The show is also the first opportunity to research extensively French female photographers of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Many talents are brought to the light on the exhibition walls next to their British and American counterparts. Emissary of the 75 famous or forgotten photographers gathered in Paris, Thomas Galifot will take the opportunity to contextualize the major loans from the Royal Photographic Society collection at the National Media Museum, and to draw parallels between women and photographic societies in their respective countries.
Antony Penrose - Lee Miller
Antony Penrose is the Director of The Lee Miller Archives. In 1985 his biography The Lives of Lee Miller was published by Thames & Hudson followed by Lee Miller’s War which he edited. These books started a revival of interest in Lee Miller’s work which has resulted in a stream of exhibitions, documentary films, books and research projects taking place world-wide. The collection contains about 60,000 original negatives and 20,000 vintage prints from Miller’s early work in Paris with Man Ray in 1929 up to close to the end of her life when she continued to make portraits of artists such as Picasso, Miró, Ernst and Tàpies.
The American Lee Miller (1907 – 1977) made the transition from being a top model for Vogue to a photographer published in Vogue in less than a year. She was intensely beautiful but more importantly, highly intelligent and driven to succeed in a man’s world. Her early apprenticeship in Paris from 1929 to the surrealist photographer Man Ray gave her the skills she needed to start her own studio in New York in 1932. The studio was a great success but she abandoned it to marry a wealthy Egyptian and live in Cairo for the five years.
She initiated long range expeditions into the desert to take some of the freest images of her career. At the outbreak of World War 2 she went to live London and became a freelance photographer for Vogue shooting fashion. Then in 1942 when America entered the war she became a US Army War Correspondent accredited to Vogue, and photographed the women at war in their roles in the three services, the medical profession and the many support services such as the WRVS and the Land Army. Following the D Day Normandy landings she covered a field hospital behind Omaha Beach, an assignment that signalled her dominance of Vogue features for the next eighteen months.
Then by chance she became involved in the bitter fighting for the port of St Malo. To the fury of some male correspondents, she scooped the five day siege. From then until after the end of the war in Europe she filed on a surreal mix of battles, fashion, refugees and the appalling atrocities of the death camps.
At every turn of her career, Miller, as a woman in a man’s world had to work harder, file better images and text and be far more original than her male counterparts. She succeeded as a triumph of her feminine cunning, yank ingenuity, raw courage and her wit and intelligence, all of which served her uniquely Surrealist way of seeing. This presentation is an overview of her achievements and the story behind them.
Linda Marchant – Cornel Lucas
Linda Marchant is a Senior Lecturer in Photography in the School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University. Published work on Lucas’s images and career include a forthcoming chapter for Palgrave on Lucas’s images of Diana Dors (due to be published summer 2015) and another in Working in the Global Film and Television Industries published by Bloomsbury in 2012.
Women in the Frame: Stargazing and the Film Portraits of Cornel Lucas
As part of the RPS programme of talks in 2015 celebrating Women in Photography, Linda Marchant will take a closer look at Cornel Lucas’s stunning portraits of female film stars from a golden era of British film making. From Jean Simmons to Joan Collins, from Bacall to Bardot, Lucas’s lens presented a plethora of female film stars to the cinema going public. His constructions of the female stars at the forefront of 1950s film and beyond present a uniquely British vision of stardom.
The career of Cornel Lucas (1920 – 2012) spanned six decades and his images have been published, collected and exhibited throughout his working life and posthumously. His portraits of film stars, many of which were taken whilst he was head of the Rank Organisation’s photography studio at Pinewood in the 1950s are the most celebrated and widely exhibited of his images. He remains the only stills photographer to have been awarded a BAFTA for his Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema (1998).
Helen Clarke – Vivian Maier
Helen Clarke is a Lecturer in History and Theory of Photography at Leeds College of Art. Her research interests are in women photographers and the politics of the body in photography. She has been looking at Vivian Maiers’ emerging archive as part of a research project on street photography and the female body.
‘Sort of a Spy’
The story of the nanny who took pictures has captured the public’s attention since her work was published on John Maloofs Flikr account in 2009. In his 2014 film Finding Vivian Maier we hear Maier describe herself as ‘sort of a spy’. As well as taking photographs, she also shot film, questioning people on current affairs, and was an archivist of the everyday, collecting newspapers, organising them in folders and finally storing them in the storage lockers which were auctioned and then shared with the world, mostly after her death.
This talk looks at some of Vivian Maiers photographic work, particularly her self-portraits, and provides a reading of her based in the ‘evidence’ of the images. Much written about Maier, revolves around a portrayal of her as ‘The invisible Woman’. This talk aims to look at her work as a process of collecting and to see her self-portraits as the closest we might get to the mystery of this fascinating photographer.
For earlier events for the Women in Photography series go to http://www.rps.org/learning/workshops-and-lectures/lectures/visual-literacy-lectures
Image: Joan Collins 1952 - (c) Cornel Lucas www.cornellucascollection.com