New RPS group: Women in Photography

06 August 2018

Region: Headquarters

I was chatting to one of the most influential women in photography last week, when she suddenly said: ‘Well, of course, the problem with the RPS is that it’s just soooo full of men’.  And she’s right.  And it’s become self-perpetuating.  Us girls are outnumbered by more than three to one.  Don’t get me wrong, I love men, some of my best friends are men, but the Society’s demographic is rather strange for an organisation that seemed to be rather more enlightened in 1853.  Unlike many of the other Victorian institutions, the RPS allowed women to become members, and they could be members in their own right  - they didn’t have to be landowners, or rich widows or married to someone involved in the art or science of photography.

But we are now redressing the balance.  I’m absolutely overjoyed that in the year designated as the Year of the Woman, the RPS has established the special interest group Women in Photography, with a spotlight on female photographers past, present and future.

I’ve been privy to some of the background discussions and I’m totally excited by the group’s plans:  A one-day project, at the end of the month, in which all Society members can participate; an inaugural lecture by Honorary Chair, Karen Knorr FRPS; informal meetings with leading female photographers; blogs about exhibitions and books; artist and curator tours and ...

So as Vice President, it gives me great pleasure to crack a virtual bottle of champagne over the group’s bows and launch her on a voyage towards uncharted territory – territory where membership is more evenly divided between the genders.

Del Barrett ARPS, Vice President

PS.  You don’t have to be female to join the group, it’s open to all members. Log in to My RPS and follow the instructions.

Image:  From right to left Karen Knorr FRPS (Honorary Chair), Thérèse Barry (Chair), Caroline Gannon (Secretary)