Women in Focus: Museum of London's Photographs by Dorothy Bohm

By Culture24 Reporter | 27 November 2012
A photo of a picture torn from a magazine showing a woman in a mask flirting with a man
Torn Poster, Hampstead (1990s)© Dorothy Bohm Archive

Exhibition Preview: Women in Focus: Photographs by Dorothy Bohm, Museum of London, London, until February 17 2013

Known as a pioneering mid-20th century photographer and the long-term head of the Photographers’ Gallery, Dorothy Bohm wants to know if snaps can give away gender.

“I was interested to know if, by looking at my images, it was obvious that a woman had taken them,” she explains.

“I asked a photo historian, who knew my work very well, this question. He replied that in general he did not think so, but that, indeed, some of the photographs could only have been taken by a woman.

“I must add that I have always found it an advantage to be a woman. Women are often seen as less threatening than men, and are probably better at expressing empathy and emotion through intuition.”

Of the 33 colour works on show – described as “life-affirming and thought-provoking” – many are on public display for the first time, contrasting the portrayal of women in advertising and artworks with the reality on the streets.

“London has been my home for more than 60 years, and women feature very often in my London photographs,” adds Bohm, who says this show is her homage to their everyday lives.

“As a woman photographing women, I hope that I have shown in my pictures that I understand, sympathise and can identify with my subjects.

“I have tried to show the contribution women make to the very diverse, exciting and colourful – if sometimes stressful – London life. I never want to take hurtful pictures.”

  • Open 10am-6pm (closed December 24-26). Admission free. Follow the museum on Twitter @MuseumofLondon.

More pictures:

A photo of a mannequin standing upright in a shop window lit by red lights in a black dress
Covent Garden (1997)© Dorothy Bohm Archive
A photo fo a young woman in a red dress sitting on a pub bench having a drink
Islington (2012)© Dorothy Bohm Archive
A photo of a woman in a red winter coat walking past large urban sculptures on concrete
The Mall (1998)© Dorothy Bohm Archive
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