Rosalie Gwathmey

(1908 - 2001) American


Born in Charlotte, NC, Rosalie Gwathmey studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts before taking up photography in the late 1930s. After she and her husband, the painter Robert Gwathmey, moved to New York in 1942, she became a member of the Photo League, studying under Paul Strand and Sid Grossman. For several years, she served on the executive committee of the Photo League and edited its newsletter, Photo Notes.
Gwathmey and her husband were politically active on the left, and she used her camera to call attention to the discrimination faced by working-class African Americans in the South. When the Photo League disbanded in 1951, she gave up photography and became a textile designer. She destroyed all of her negatives and donated the majority of her photographs to the New York Public Library.
Phillips, Christopher, and Vanessa Rocco, eds. Modernist Photography: Selections from the Daniel Cowin Collection. New York: International Center of Photography and Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2005, pp. 109.
Rosalie Gwathmey: Photographs from the Forties. East Hampton, NY: Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, 1994.
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