A Collection of Self-Portraits by Gertrud Arndt (1930s)

Gertrud Arndt (1903 – 2000) was a photographer associated with the Bauhaus movement. She is remembered for her pioneering series of self-portraits from around 1930.

Over the five years she captured herself and her friends in various styles, costumes and settings in the series known as Maskenportäts (Masked Portraits). Although at the time Arndt refused to attribute any deep artistic meaning to her photographs, they were imaginative and provocative. Through her costumes, Arndt created playful reinterpretations of such feminine tropes as the widow, socialite, and a little girl.

The viewer is confronted with Arndt head on, unable to ignore the expression communicated by her face and the accessories that framed it. In an interview as a nonagenarian, Arndt told Sabina Leßmann, “I am simply interested in the face, what does one make from a face? There you only need to open your eyes wide and already you are someone else. Isn’t that true?”. Today Arndt is considered to be a pioneer of female self-portraiture, her work echoing in that of Cindy Sherman and Sophie Calle.

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Gertrud Arndt, self-portrait via

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Self Portrait© Gertrud Arndt via

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Gertrud Arndt, Maskenportrait Nr. 29, via

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Gertrud Arndt, Maskenfoto, um 1930 Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin © VG Bild‐Kunst, Bonn 2016 via

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Mask portrait No. 131 by Gertrud Arndt, 1930 via

A Collection of Victorian Era Portraits by Lady Clementina Hawarden (1860s)

Clementina Maude, Viscountess Hawarden, née Clementina Elphinstone Fleeming (1822 – 1865), commonly known as Lady Clementina Hawarden, was a noted English portrait amateur photographer of the Victorian Era, producing over 800 photographs mostly of her adolescent daughter.

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A photograph of a young woman in a dancing costume, possibly Isabella Hawarden (b. 1846), taken by Clementina, Lady Hawarden, in about 1863 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum via

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A photograph of Isabella Grace Hawarden (b. 1846) taken by her mother, Clementina, Lady Hawarden, in about 1862 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum via

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Two women by window, one standing and one kneeling. A photograph of two young girls, probably Clementina (b. 1847) and Florence Hawarden (b. 1849), taken by Clementina, Lady Hawarden, in about 1860 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum via

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Portrait of ‘Clementina Maude’ by Lady Clementina Hawarden, albumen print, 1863, woman reading seated beside window © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum via

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Woman on balcony. A photograph of Clementina Hawarden (b. 1847), taken by her mother, Viscountess Clementina Hawarden in about 1862 © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum via