International Women's Day 2019 | Illuminating Women - Photographs by Mayotte Magnus
Last week a spontaneous trip to The National Portrait Gallery led to a little gem of a find on the mezzanine floor. A wall dedicated to Mayotte Magnus a French photographer who predominantly took portraits of influential women. Her feature was perfectly timed, stated on the wall was that originally there was a landmark solo exhibition held in 1977 at The National Portrait Gallery showing 90 portraits of notable women, the first exhibition of it’s kind to focus on female achievement. This topic seems fitting for this week, with the approach of International Women’s day it only seems right that we should be celebrating women. It is not emphasised enough the lack of presence of female photographers on gallery walls.
Personally I work with a lot of female creatives, yet when it comes to credit or notability the first thing that comes of peoples lips are the names of famous male photographers. I have to admit my delight and surprise at a solo female showcase in one of the major galleries in London only holds testament to the fact that we do not see women photographed represented enough in these types of institutions.
Women supporting women is a great initiative but I believe that men should be supporting women and highlighting many talented women photographers past and present. My wish for this time next year is to not be surprised when I walk into a gallery and see something similar. Happy International Women’s Day!
Illuminating Women: Photographs by Mayotte Magnus continues at The National Portrait Gallery (St Martin’s Place, London, England) through March 24.