The Met’s show ‘The New Woman Behind the Camera’ opens lens on 20th-century history
The new woman behind the camera catalogue is a show that opens up the lens on 20th-century history. It has been playing at the Met since January 2019.
The Met’s 200-plus image exhibition, “The New Woman Behind the Camera,” seeks to illustrate how women influenced contemporary photography from the 1920s through the 1950s. While the goal is lofty, an all-female event like this has a flaw.
Gender-focused exhibitions may exacerbate an already polarized art industry. Richard Woodward’s assessment of the Met exhibition in the Wall Street Journal has a hint of this.
Covert chauvinism is a kind of chauvinism that occurs when people
The high number of photos were “enlisted to support the thesis” that female photographers “opened up new creative horizons for themselves and other women,” according to Woodward. Did you notice the sarcastic reference to the images on display being “enlisted to support the thesis”?
This program isn’t about hypotheticals. The entrance of women into the field of photography is not a hypothesis. It’s a historical truth that women’s photography was novel in the twentieth century, opening up new avenues for female artists to express themselves. Why is it so difficult to admit that?
The gap between men and women may be seen in Nancy Kenney’s Art News evaluations. Compare and contrast her first salvo with Woodward’s. “Triumphant in their day, but virtually erased later,” as Kenney puts it, “a Met show examines ‘The New Woman Behind the Camera.’” It’s the same show. Sexes are different.
Getting to the point
Consider a single show at the Met to get away from the gender conflicts. It sticks out, and if you’re wondering why, the solution will probably come to you quickly.
Despite the fact that the photograph was taken during the Great Depression in 1936, it might just as well have been taken this morning.
You’ve most likely seen this picture before. Migrant Mother – Florence Owens Thompson and Her Children is a photograph by Dorothea Lange. She has a perplexed look on her face, as though she is wondering, “What do I do now?”
Isn’t it what every American mother must be wondering in the face of Covid-19 virus outbreaks, the Delta variation, and half the country’s refusal to seek vaccination protection?
The tale is told in the headline of the New York Times. “The Delta Variant Spreads Worry in the Capitol.” “Americans’ optimism about the country’s future over the next year has dropped almost 20 points since May,” according to Global Media Arts.
One of such famous pictures is Lange’s. It’s the archetypal picture of the Great Depression in her instance, much as Joe Rosenthal’s photograph Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima of six American soldiers raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi is the iconic image of WWII.
The Marine Corps Memorial, a statue in Arlington Park, is based on the photograph.
A symptom of the times
Lange’s Migrant Mother isn’t commemorated with a monument, but it’s no less significant. I would say that Florence Owens Thompson’s fight for her children’s life demonstrates just as much courage as the six soldiers at Iwo Jima.
Lange’s Migrant Mother, according to Blake Gopnik, who reviewed the Met exhibition for ArtDaily, is “a wonderful work that depicts what so many Americans were going through at the time.” It’s strange that he didn’t think it was relevant to our day.
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The woman behind the window is an exhibition of photographs by Lotte Jacobi. The show features images of women in various occupations and settings, with a focus on the 20th-century history.
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