The publication of Through Shaded Glass – women and photography in Aotearoa New Zealand 1860-1970 represents a significant milestone in foregrounding the involvement and photographic work of over 190 women makers of photography in Aotearoa New Zealand prior to 1960.
It draws on years of research locating names, photographs, and researching lives as it explores photographic practice where women have made strong contributions.
It also discusses how those contributions have been sidelined or overlooked in this country’s photographic histories to date – such as collaborative working practices, photographers and the Second World War in Aotearoa New Zealand, non-binary practices, and the involvement of Māori women in making early photography here.
Lissa will also discuss ongoing research aimed at enriching and developing the public record and connecting histories of women’s involvement in photography with contemporary photographic practice and society now and in the future.
Lissa Mitchell is curator of historical photography at the Te Papa and has held previous roles in photographic collection management and preventive photographic conservation at The New Zealand Film Archive (now part of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision) and the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa. She has a degree in art history from Victoria University of Wellington Te Herenga Waka and has written about photography for several books: An Alternative History of Photography (Prestel, 2022), New Zealand Art at Te Papa (Te Papa Press, 2018), and websites such as The Public Domain Review (UK) and New Zealand on Screen Iwi Whitiāhua. She is a recipient of a Historical Photographic Research Award from the Peter E. Palmquist Memorial Fund (USA) and a History Award from the New Zealand History Research Trust Fund. Prior to a career in photographic history, Lissa was an experimental filmmaker and some of her work is available to view on CIRCUIT Artist Moving Image.