Public History Talk – Through shaded glass: Women and photography in Aotearoa New Zealand 1860–1960, 3 April 2024

Wednesday 3 April 2024, 12:10pm to 1pm

Taiwhanga Kauhau — Auditorium, (lower ground) National Library Wellington. Entrance on Aitken Street or on Zoom.

In the first Public History Talk for 2024, the author of ‘Through Shaded Glass: Women and Photography in Aotearoa New Zealand 1860–1960’ Lissa Mitchell, will talk about the hidden legacies of women photographers working in the sector prior to 1960.

The hidden legacies of New Zealand’s women photographers

The publication of Through Shaded Glass: Women and Photography in Aotearoa New Zealand 1860–1960 (Te Papa Press, 2023) represents a significant milestone in foregrounding the involvement and photographic work of over 190 women makers of photography in Aotearoa before 1960.

The book draws on years of primary research locating names, photographs, and researching the lives of women photographers. It explores photographic practise where women have made strong contributions that have been sidelined or overlooked in this country’s photographic histories to date.

Topics include collaborative working practises, photographers and the Second World War, non-binary practises, and the involvement of Māori women in making early photography here.

An illustrated lunchtime talk

This illustrated talk will focus on the hidden legacies of women photographers. Of particular focus will be the tension between the lives and work of three early commercial photographers — Frances Hamilton, Agnes Williamson, and Alice Brusewitz.

About the speaker

Lissa Mitchell is a photographic historian and curator of photography at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. They are the author of Through shaded glass: Women and photography in Aotearoa New Zealand 1860–1960 (Te Papa Press, 2023) and have contributed to numerous publications including An Alternative History of Photography (Prestel, 2022) and Brian Brake: Lens on the World (Te Papa Press, 2010).

More information can be found here.