Silver Girls. Retouched History of Photography.
A book on early women photographers from Estonia and Latvia.

The photo book Silver Girls. Retouched History of Photography was born out of an exhibition of the same name at the Tartu Art Museum. The richly illustrated book tells the stories of ten early woman photographers who worked in the geographical region of Estonia and Latvia in the interwar period. The book brings to the readers a vast and multifaceted selection of the history of photography from numerous museums and private collectors. Documentation of the exhibition at the Tartu Art Museum is also included together with reproductions of the works by three contemporary artists who contemplate on the lost and the forgotten in our common past. The curators Šelda Puķīte and Indrek Grigor have written an essay as well as short portraits of all the thirteen artists included in the book.

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Photos Alexey Murashko

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Šelda Puķīte and Indrek Grigor comment: “As the research into women in history expands world wide, the Baltic States are catching up and putting together pieces that have been preserved in order to clarify women’s stories and their legacies. Some of the stories turn out to be very significant in the context of art history, and some serve as small but important expansions of an already existing view of our common past.” As is usual with other fields and professions, it’s hard to find the names of women in books on the history of photography. We hope that this publication will become an important precedent in – quoting the books designer Alexey Murshko – “Finding the lost faces of those women.”

The Book was Published by the Tartu Art Museum (EE) and Blind Carbon Copy (LV) whilst looking for common ground between memory institutions and contemporary art. The books design and layout was made by the renowned designer Alexey Murashko. Printed and bound by Jelgavas Tipogrāfija, cover is printed by Veiters (Riga).

The publication of the book would not have been possible without the work and generous help of numerous institution of whom we would like to especially thank: Estonian Museum of Photography and Tanel Verk, Viljandi Museum and Herki Helves, Museum of Hiiumaa and Helgi Põllu, Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation including Lauma Lanceniece, Latvian Museum of Photography including Maira Dudareva and Sandis Zaķis, Aizkraukle Museum of History and Art including Ilzīte Ozoliņa, Riga Photography Biennial and Inga Brūvere . Katrīna Teivane-Korpa, Pēteris Korsaks and Kristjan Riet.

The publication of the book was financially supported by Estonian Cultural Foundation, Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia and Arctic Paper.