Searching for the Women Artists & Photographers
By Sharon Gothard
Finding the women artists and photographers of Northampton County, PA has been interesting research.
I have used the Federal Census, City & County Directories, to identify women who were listed as artist or photographers and living in Northampton County, PA. All women were painters, sculptors, art teachers, porcelain painters and photographers. A few also did writing.
I also looked for the women and their images by using Google, eBay, ancestry.com and databases of women artists.
Many of these women lived and died in Northampton County. Some, it appears, were only passing through. A few of the photographers had taken over the photography studios their husband had when he died.
Porcelain painting was a popular pursuit for women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a sophisticated hobby for middle and upper class women, a respectable occupation for women who needed to work out of economic necessity, and a creative outlet for women artists, who in general did not receive the same professional status as their male counterparts. Kansas Historical Society This explained much to me, as I was curious why women in a higher class were doing this.
I am sure there are women that I missed. Art or photography, like Norma Collmar, was probably a hobby and never mentioned in any of the above. Hopefully, more will come forward in time.