At a Glance
Among America's earliest, most prolific but little-known female photographers, Alice Austen (1866 – 1952) captured about 7,000 images just as New York City segued from the 19th into the 20th Century. Her photos also capture the lost rural idyll of her native Staten Island as it was drawn closer into the metropolis upon its consolidation with New York. As with many creative women of her time, Alice Austen paid a dear price for her flouting of societal expectations. Today, her photographs are freshly relevant. Her lens chronicled class, immigration, income inequality, gender roles and sexuality in ways poignant, playful and intimate.