Exhibitions

Catching the Wave: Photographs of the Women’s Movement

Schlesinger Library Exhibition
Photo by Bettye Lane, courtesy of Schlesinger LibraryPhoto by Bettye Lane, courtesy of Schlesinger Library

Catching the Wave: Photographs of the Women’s Movement opens on November 7, 2016, and runs through March 17, 2017.

It will be on view on the first floor of the Schlesinger Library, Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Free and open to the public.


Among the treasures in the Schlesinger Library are photograph collections that document the women’s liberation movement between the late 1960s and 1980s. This exhibition highlights the work of two influential feminist photographers during that tumultuous era. Bettye Lane and Freda Leinwand spent years capturing the moments—large and small—that transformed American history. The two photographers lived and worked out of the same artist studios, Westbeth Artist Housing, in New York City. Although marches, protests, and demonstrations were often the focus of their art, the city served as a central subject in the images Lane and Leinwand captured. The Schlesinger Library began collecting the work of Lane and Leinwand in 1979 and acquired the remainder of their collections from their families between 2012 and 2014, after their deaths. 

In addition to the work of Lane and Leinwand, four other professional photographers are featured: Catherine Allport, Mima Cataldo, Diana Mara Henry, and Dorothea Jacobson-Wenzel. The work of all of these photographers comprises a compellingly candid visual documentation of the issues and events of the modern women’s movement, which the artists not only chronicled but also participated in and shaped.