Rosalie Gwathmey, [Woman, Charlotte, North Carolina], ca. 1945
After the birth of her son Charles (the famous architect who passed away last week) in 1938, Rosalie Gwathmey picked up a camera and dedicated herself to photography. She spent two decades documenting the lives of African Americans in her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. A founding member of the New York Photo League, Gwathmey abruptly abandoned photography in 1955, discarding all of her negatives. Although her work was included in Edward Steichen’s Family of Man exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, it was a 1994 retrospective show at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller that reignited interest in her socially progressive work.