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New-York Historical Society Focuses On Pioneering Women Photographers In New LIFE Magazine Exhibit

This weekend, the New-York Historical Society will launch a new exhibition that features the work of pioneering women photographers, called LIFE: Six Women Photographers.

The exhibit will feature more than 70 images by prominent photographers who were also amongst the few women to work at LIFE magazine in the 1930s through the 1970s. The magazine was the first to put a focus on photography in their storytelling, and during these decades, they write, "Americans saw the world through the lens of [its] photographers."

The women behind the lens who will be featured in this exhibit are Marie Hansen, Martha Holmes, Lisa Larsen, Nina Leen, Hansel Mieth, and Bronx-born Margaret Bourke-White. As the press release for the exhibit states, through their now-iconic images they "helped create modern photojournalism as it depicted a quickly-evolving world."

"These pioneering women photographers captured events international and domestic, wide-ranging and intimate, serious and playful," said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. LIFE founder and editor-in-chief Henry Luce once said of their work, "At the forefront of history, these photographers enabled the public to see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events" during an era he dubbed the "American Century." This came from a confidential memo Luce sent out in 1936 which circulated around the Time Inc. offices. It described his vision for the magazine, and read:

To see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events; to watch the faces of the poor and the gestures of the proud; to see strange things — machines, armies, multitudes, shadows in the jungle and on the moon; to see man’s work — his paintings, towers and discoveries; to see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to; the women that men love and many children; to see and take pleasure in seeing; to see and be amazed; to see and be instructed...

This is the first exhibition to focus on the women of LIFE magazine.

LIFE: Six Women Photographers will run from June 28th through October 6th at the New-York Historical Society (170 Central Park West).

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