Events | "I know what I’m doing” : Women Photographers in the West Coast Camera Club Environment, circa 1900. - Lecture by Carolin Görgen

Cascadia Art Museum | August 30, 2023 | 6:00 PM (PDT)

Join 2023 Thomas Mann Fellow Carolin Görgen in Seattle for a lecture on the role women photographers played in the West Coast Camera Club environment.

At the turn of the century, as camera clubs were springing up across the country, the San Francisco-based California Camera Club was not only the largest in the country. It also had a 14% female membership – twice the national average. Taking the California Camera Club as a point of departure, this talk traces how western clubs served as networks for aspiring female photographers from Los Angeles to Seattle, inspiring many, like Oregon-born Adelaide Hanscom, to claim their legitimate place in the male-dominated camera world and declare “I know what I’m doing.” Amid western photographers celebrating Gold Rush pioneers, monumental landscapes, and industrial extraction, female photographers along the Pacific Coast found ways to shift, and at times disrupt, the common booster rhetoric and shape western American photography in the long term.

A purchase of a ticket is required. Purchase ticket here.


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Carolin Görgen is an Associate Professor of American Studies at Sorbonne Université, Paris. After studying American Studies and Art History in the Netherlands, the US, and France, she obtained her PhD from the University Paris-Diderot and the Ecole du Louvre in 2018. Her research focuses on the photographic history of California and the American West. Her work has received support from the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Beinecke Library at Yale, the Huntington Library, and the Amon Carter Museum. She serves on the editorial board of the journal Photographica. Among many other publications, Görgen is the author of the 2021 article “Californian Women Photographers in the U.S. Archival Landscape: Toward a More Inclusive History of American Photography.” She is a 2023 Thomas Mann Fellow.

Attendance Information:

Purchase of ticket is required. Purchase ticket here.

$14.00 for members

$20.00 for non-members


Cascadia Art Museum

190 Sunset Ave

Edmonds, WA 98020

This event is organized by the Cascadia Art Museum. Co-presented by Thomas Mann House Los Angeles.

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