Ruth Orkin: Women


This book is not yet published, but will be available from May 2024.

ISBN: 9783775756853 Category:


Capturing grace

Her American Girl in Italy-the street scene with the whistling Italians-is an icon. Now sensational negatives and slides have surfaced from the archive that reveal a little-known side of Ruth Orkin: that of the sensitive, interested, witty chronicler of the women’s world of the 1940s and 1950s. Orkin thought up editorials like the tongue-in-cheek reportage Who works harder? comparing the lives of a career woman and a housewife. She documented the hustle and bustle in beauty salons and at cocktail parties, at dog shows and on Hollywood film sets. We meet Lauren Bacall, Jane Russell, Joan Taylor or Doris Day, but also waitresses, stewardesses and female soldiers, as wall as groups of female friends. What emerges is the image of women on the move, women who are beginning to cast off the conventions imposed on them, going their own way: self-confident, stylish, smart.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 26.5 x 26.5 cm
Publisher name Hatje Cantz Verlag
Publication date 8 May 2024
Number of pages 144
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Nadine Barth and Katharina Mouratidi
Dimensions 26.5 x 26.5 cm
Weight 300 g


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American photographer, photojournalist, and filmmaker RUTH ORKIN (1921-1985) grew up in Hollywood as the daughter of a silent film actress. She went on to be one of the first women to study photojournalism at Los Angeles City College. In 1943 Orkin moved to New York City, working as a freelance photojournalist. Her photographs appeared in The New York Times, LIFE, Look, Ladies' Home Journal, and other publications. On the occasion of what would have been her 100th birthday, exhibitions were held across Europe and North America. In 2021, Hatje Cantz published A Photo Spirit dedicated to her pioneering work.