In 1955, the Museum of Modern Art put on what may very well be the most famous photography survey of all time, “The Family of Man.” It assembled a who’s who of 20th century talents—Henri Cartier-Bresson, Roy DeCarava, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Garry Winogrand, and August Sander. The show’s demographics, however, left something to be desired: of the 251 artists included, fewer than 40 were women.
A new show opening today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art continues recent efforts to reinsert women into the history of photography. Organized by Andrea Nelson and Mia Fineman with Virginia McBride, “The New Woman Behind the Camera” features 120 women photographers working during the 20th century. Its focus is not only Western artists who are already well-known, such as Dorothea Lange and Claude Cahun, but also under-recognized artists from other parts of the world whose work has been influential.
Below, a look at five under-recognized artists included in the Met show, which is slated to travel to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. after its run in New York.