Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas


  • Made or Taken? Photographs of Women, 1840-1980
  • 01-Dec-1989 - 11-Mar-1990
  • North Balcony, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

Beginning with the daguerreotype portrait of Dorothy Catherine Draper – the first woman in the world to sit before a camera – this exhibition from the Spencer's collection presents photographs of women both famous and anonymous by photographers such as A.J. Russell, Nadar, Edward Weston, Walker Evans, Dian Arbus, and Helmut Newton. These works test some of our basic assumptions about the nature of photography. Are photographs pure documents, simply "taken" from the world by the photographer? or are they products of the photographer's own ideas, "made" from his or her imagination just like any other work of art? This exhibition was organized by students in a graduate seminar in the history of photography.