Positive Image, The

Women Photographers in Turn-of-the-Century America

By C. Jane Gover

Series: SUNY series in the New Cultural History
Paperback : 9780887065354, 191 pages, January 1988
Hardcover : 9780887065330, 191 pages, February 1988

Alternative formats available from:


The Positive Image tells the largely untold story of women photographers in turn of the century America. Women like Gertrude Käsebier, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Alice Austen, Catherine Weed Ward, and Eva Watson-Schütze were among thousands of women who as professional and amateur photographers sought personal, artistic, and professional fulfillment while still connected to the traditional domestic environment.

These women created a positive experience for themselves in photography through an identifiable female network of women photographers, through membership in camera clubs, and in many cases, through their association with photography great Alfred Stieglitz. Theirs became an alliance between women, art, culture, and technology in a time of intense social change in the United States.

C. Jane Gover teaches American History at Adelphi and Hofstra Universities.


"The author combines insights from recent work in women's history and in the history of photography to develop a group portrait of a hitherto neglected group of women. The book makes an important contribution to understanding the way in which women adapted modern technology to expand their options as well as the ways they used aspects of women's culture to shape modernism to their own uses. The author nicely places these women photographers within the context of the developing profession of photography, as well as within their family and domestic cultures. " — Joyce Antler, Brandeis University