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Margaret Watkins
Self Portrait, 1919
Margaret Watkins
Margaret Watkins

Margaret Watkins

Country: Canada
Birth: 1884 | Death: 1969

Margaret Watkins (1884-1969) was born in Canada. Best known for art and advertising photography executed in New York in the 1920s, Watkins was active in the Clarence White school of photography and a participant in the shift from pictorialism to modernism. Her working life spanned a Victorian upbringing in Hamilton, Ontario, and the witnessing of the first Soviet Five-Year Plan. Watkins' modernism, which involved experimentation and a radical focus on form, transgressed boundaries of conventional, high-art subject matter. Her focus was daily life and her photographs, whether an exploration of the objects in her New York kitchen or the public and industrial spaces of Glasgow, Paris, Cologne, Moscow, and Leningrad in the 1930s, strike a balance between abstraction and an evocation of the everyday, offering a unique gendered perspective on modernism and modernity.

Watkins established a studio in Greenwich Village and in 1920 she accepted the position of editor of the annual publication Pictorial Photography in America. Clarence White asked Watkins to join the faculty of his school, where Watkins met other notable photographers, including Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand. She worked for Macy's department stores and for the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, capturing simple domestic objects with a clarity of modernist vision rare in commercial photography at the time. Her landscapes, portraits, nudes, still lifes, and abstractions received praise and attracted controversy. Exhibitions were held in the United States and in Europe.

In 1928, Watkins decided to visit her four elderly aunts in Glasgow, Scotland. She traveled throughout Europe, photographing extensively and producing a body of work documenting post-revolution Russia. Her aunts began to take ill, and Watkins remained in Glasgow to help care for them. She drifted from the spotlight of public recognition, and few photographs or negatives exist from this time. Watkins lived in Scotland in seclusion until her death in 1969.
 

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Eve Arnold
United States
1912 | † 2012
Eve Arnold was born Eve Cohen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the middle of nine children born to immigrant Russian-Jewish parents, William Cohen (born Velvel Sklarski), a rabbi, and his wife, Bessie (Bosya Laschiner). Her interest in photography began in 1946 while working for Kodak in their Fair Lawn NJ photo-finishing plant. Over six weeks in 1948, she learned photographic skills from Harper's Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan. She married Arnold Schmitz (later Arnold Arnold) in 1941. Eve Arnold photographed many of the iconic figures who shaped the second half of the twentieth century, yet she was equally comfortable documenting the lives of the poor and dispossessed, "migrant workers, civil-rights protestors of apartheid in South Africa, disabled Vietnam war veterans and Mongolian herdsmen." Her joyful picture of a Cuban couple with their child was selected in 1955 for the world-touring Museum of Modern Art exhibition The Family of Man and seen by 9 million visitors. For Arnold, there was no dichotomy: "I don't see anybody as either ordinary or extraordinary," she said in a 1990 BBC interview, "I see them simply as people in front of my lens." Arnold was particularly noted for her work using available light, concentrating on the image in the lens and eschewing extensive use of photographic lighting and flash. Of this she said "By the time you set up lights the image is gone" in a Guardian interview in 2000. Arnold's images of Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Misfits (1961) were perhaps her most memorable, but she had taken many photos of Monroe from 1951 onwards. Her previously unseen photos of Monroe were shown at a Halcyon Gallery exhibition in London during May 2005. She also photographed Queen Elizabeth II, Malcolm X, Marlene Dietrich, and Joan Crawford, and traveled around the world, photographing in China, Russia, South Africa and Afghanistan. Arnold left the United States and moved permanently to England in the early 1970s with her son, Francis Arnold. While working for the London Sunday Times, she began to make serious use of color photography. In 1980, she had her first solo exhibition, which featured her photographic work done in China at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City. In the same year, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Magazine Photographers. In 1993, she was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and elected Master Photographer by New York's International Center of Photography. She did a series of portraits of American First Ladies. In 1997, she was appointed a member of the Advisory Committee of the National Media Museum (formerly the Museum of Photography, Film & Television) in Bradford, West Yorkshire. She was appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2003. She lived in Mayfair for many years until her last illness, when she moved to a nursing home in St George's Square, Pimlico. When Anjelica Huston asked if she was still doing photography, Arnold replied: "That's over. I can't hold a camera any more." She said she spent most of her time reading such writers as Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Thomas Mann and Leo Tolstoy. Arnold died in London on January 4, 2012, aged 99. Source: Wikipedia Eve Arnold was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Russian immigrant parents. She began photographing in 1946, while working at a photo-finishing plant in New York City, and then studied photography in 1948 with Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research in New York. Arnold first became associated with Magnum Photos in 1951, and became a full member in 1957. She was based in the US during the 1950s but went to England in 1962 to put her son through school; except for a six-year interval when she worked in the US and China, she lived in the UK for the rest of her life. Her time in China led to her first major solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in 1980, where she showed the resulting images. In the same year, she received the National Book Award for In China and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Magazine Photographers. In later years she received many other honours and awards. In 1995 she was made fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and elected Master Photographer - the world's most prestigious photographic honour - by New York's International Center of Photography. In 1996 she received the Kraszna-Krausz Book Award for In Retrospect, and the following year she was granted honorary degrees by the University of St Andrews, Staffordshire University, and the American International University in London; she was also appointed to the advisory committee of the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television in Bradford, UK. She has had twelve books published. Source: Magnum Photos
Andreas Feininger
United States
1906 | † 1999
Andreas Bernhard Lyonel Feininger (December 27, 1906 - February 18, 1999) was an American photographer and a writer on photographic technique. He was noted for his dynamic black-and-white scenes of Manhattan and for studies of the structures of natural objects. Feininger was born in Paris, France, the eldest son of Julia Berg, a German Jew, and the American painter and art educator Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956). His paternal grandparents were the German violinist Karl Feininger (1844-1922) and the American singer Elizabeth Feininger, (née Lutz), who was also of German descent. His younger brother was the painter and photographer T. Lux Feininger (1910-2011). In 1908 the Feininger family moved to Berlin, and in 1919 to Weimar, where Lyonel Feininger took up the post of Master of the Printing Workshop at the newly formed Bauhaus art school. Andreas left school at 16, in 1922, to study at the Bauhaus; he graduated as a cabinetmaker in April 1925. After that he studied architecture, initially at the Staatliche Bauschule Weimar (State Architectural College, Weimar) and later at the Staatliche Bauschule Zerbst. (Zerbst is a city in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, about 20 km from Dessau, where the Bauhaus moved to in 1926.) The Feininger family moved to Dessau with the Bauhaus. In addition to continuing his architectural studies in Zerbst, Andreas developed an interest in photography and was given guidance by neighbour and Bauhaus teacher László Moholy-Nagy. In 1936, he gave up architecture and moved to Sweden, where he focused on photography. In advance of World War II, in 1939, Feininger immigrated to the U.S. where he established himself as a freelance photographer. In 1943 he joined the staff of Life magazine, an association that lasted until 1962. Feininger became famous for his photographs of New York. Other frequent subjects among his works were science and nature, as seen in bones, shells, plants, and minerals in the images of which he often stressed their structure. Rarely did he photograph people or make portraits. Feininger wrote comprehensive manuals about photography, of which the best known is The Complete Photographer. In the introduction to one of Feininger's books of photographs, Ralph Hattersley, the editor of the photography journal Infinity, described him as "one of the great architects who helped create photography as we know it today." In 1966, the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) awarded Feininger its highest distinction, the Robert Leavitt Award. In 1991, the International Center of Photography awarded Feininger the Infinity Lifetime Achievement Award. Today, Feininger's photographs are in the permanent collections of the Center for Creative Photography, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, London's Victoria and Albert Museum, and the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. Source: Wikipedia
William Klein
United States
1928
William Klein (born in New York, New York, USA, on April 19, 1928) is a photographer and filmmaker noted to for his ironic approach to both media and his extensive use of unusual photographic techniques in the context of photojournalism and fashion photography. He was ranked 25th on Professional Photographer's Top 100 Most influential photographers. Trained as a painter, Klein studied under Fernand Léger and found early success with exhibitions of his work. However, he soon moved on to photography and achieved widespread fame as a fashion photographer for Vogue and for his photo essays on various cities. Despite having no training as a photographer, Klein won the Prix Nadar in 1957 for New York, a book of photographs taken during a brief return to his hometown in 1954. Klein's work was considered revolutionary for its "ambivalent and ironic approach to the world of fashion", its "uncompromising rejection of the then prevailing rules of photography" and for his extensive use of wide-angle and telephoto lenses, natural lighting and motion blur. Klein tends to be cited in photography books along with Robert Frank as among the fathers of street photography, one of those mixed compliments that classifies a man who is hard to classify. The world of fashion would become the subject for Klein's first feature film, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?, which, like his other two fiction features, Mr. Freedom and The Model Couple, is a satire. Klein has directed numerous short and feature-length documentaries and has produced over 250 television commercials. Though American by birth, Klein has lived and worked in France since his late teens. His work has sometimes been openly critical of American society and foreign policy; the film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum once wrote that Klein's 1968 satire Mr. Freedom was "conceivably the most anti-American movie ever made." Klein was born into an impoverished Jewish family. Klein graduated from high school early and enrolled at the City College of New York at the age of 14 to study sociology. Klein joined the US Army and was stationed in Germany and later France, where he would permanently settle after being discharged. In 1948, Klein enrolled at the Sorbonne, and later studied with Fernand Léger. At the time, Klein was interested in abstract painting and sculpture. In 1952, Klein had two successful solo exhibitions in Milan and began a collaboration with the architect Angelo Mangiarotti. Klein also experimented with kinetic art, and it was at an exhibition of his kinetic sculptures that he met Alexander Liberman, the art director for Vogue. In 1966, Klein directed his first feature film, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? He has since directed many others, including the cinéma vérité documentary Grands soirs et petits matins, the 1964 documentary Cassius the Great, re-edited with new footage as Muhammed Ali, The Greatest in 1969, and the satires Mr. Freedom and Le Couple Témoin. A long time tennis fan, in 1982 he directed The French, a documentary on the French Open tennis championship at Roland-Garros. He was awarded The Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 1999. In 2012, Klein received the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award at the annual Sony World Photography Awards in recognition of his work in the field of photography.Source: Wikipedia
Leo Touchet
United States
1939
Leo Touchet is an American photographer, Born in Abbeville, Louisiana, in 1939. Throughout his 50-plus year career, photographer Leo Touchet’s work has captured the essence of people and cultures all across the world. In July 1965, inspired by the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson on view at MoMA, Touchet purchased a Leica M2 and began photographing the streets of New York. Soon after, his work drew the eye of a Life Magazine photo editor. That chance encounter led him on assignment for UNICEF to war-torn Vietnam, the first stop on a career that led Touchet through fifty countries across the world. Touchet’s fascination with photography began after pouring through photos an uncle had taken while deployed during World War II. In college, Touchet studied architecture where he was introduced to the principles of composition, form, light, and perspective. This architectural training deeply informed his later photographic work. Upon meeting Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1972, the man whose work inspired Touchet’s career suggested he return home and photograph the people and culture. Touchet took the advice and turned his lens upon his birth state of Louisiana, a sample of which was beautifully collected in the monograph Rejoice When You Die - The New Orleans Jazz Funerals. In total, six monographs of Touchet’s work have been published. Additionally, his work has been featured in numerous publications including Time, Life, National Geographic, and New York Times. Numerous museums and private collections hold Touchet’s work, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Everson Museum of Art, Hofstra University Museum, the Sir Elton John Photography Collection, Chase Manhattan Collection, and the United States National Park Service. Touchet’s work has been exhibited internationally numerous times notably including solo exhibitions at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Miami Art Center and the Mint Museum.Source: Jackson Fine Art Artist Statement "My earliest memory of photography was at the age of six in my hometown of Abbeville, Louisiana when an uncle returned from World War II with boxes of photographs he had taken, and I have since wanted to travel. While in high school, I was selected to be the high school photographer. My equipment then was an old 4x5 Crown Graphic Camera with screw in flash bulbs. After high school and a stint in the Army, I enrolled in Architecture school at the University of Southwest Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana Lafayette). There I was introduced to composition, form, light and perspective. My photography has since used all of these elements. Most of my photos are full-frame images, cropped in the camera. I later worked in Cleveland and New York as a draftsman and later as an industrial designer. Eventually I became bored with working in an office on a drawing board. In July 1965, on a visit to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), I was captivated by the photos of Henri Cartier-Bresson. The next day, I bought a used Leica M2 camera and began photographing on the streets of New York. The photography archives at MOMA were open to the public and most of my photography education resulted from my many hours studying photos of Cartier-Bresson, Paul Strand, Eugene Smith, Edward Steichen, Gordon Parks and many other photographers in the collection. Later that year, I bought a ticket to Vietnam to become a photographer." -- Leo TouchetSource: leotouchet.com
Bob Newman
United States
1950
Bob began photographing on a regular basis after retiring as a physician. His images document the challenges and culture within marginalized communities, which are often similar to the underprivileged patients he enjoyed serving. After retirement, photography came to occupy much of this time. Initially his forays were associated with photo trips or workshops. When he first saw images of the Irish Travellers in 2015, he became intrigued. Photographing their culture and lives became his first long-term project. In the last five years, he has returned to visit the Travellers thirteen times, averaging 2-3 visits per year. To date he has visited 30 sites. Returning on multiple occasions has provided an opportunity to take a deep dive into their history and traditions. Statement The Irish Travellers is a long-term photographic project that began in 2016. Often referred to as Pavees, they number about 40,000 in Ireland and are ethnically separate from Romani/Gypsies. No longer nomadic, they now live in extended family roadside camps or halting sites. They are predominantly Irish Roman Catholic, endogamous, and traditional marriages are the norm. The women spend their time with their families, sometimes raising as many as 16 – 18 children. Girls are taught to act and dress provocatively as toddlers. It is exceedingly difficult for Traveller men to find jobs. The unemployment rate is 84%. Most live on a dole from the Irish Government. With time on their hands, horses and dogs play a major role in their lives. They face discrimination and racism because of their differences from the Settled Irish. Despite this, they are a remarkably resilient group who highly prize their culture, traditions and family life. This series focuses on Traveller children.
Wendel Wirth
United States
1966
Wendel Wirth is an American contemporary fine art photographer. Originally from New York City and Chicago, Wirth lives in the mountains of Ketchum (better known as Sun Valley), Idaho. She in interested in the space between minimalist art and photography, ultimately pushing the viewers attention beyond the subject matter and celebrating the most essential and elemental aspects of the photograph. Wirth is an Idaho Commission on the Arts Fellow and is represented by Gilman Contemporary in Ketchum, Idaho and Dimmitt Contemporary in Houston, TX. THIS IS THE PLACE THIS IS THE PLACE is a photographic exploration of minimalist art as found in the landscape of our fading farmland. Driving highway twenty through central Idaho, the ground stretches for miles, expanding space. The linear landscape feels curated. In the winter months, the muted horizon parades elemental forms; barns and grain elevators, cow houses, cowsheds, granges as they have been called. My mind, in its road trip haze, translates the landscape into fields of Donald Judd's concrete blocks. As a photographer, I flatten the plane, calling to mind Judd's woodblock prints. The structures fade into a cluster of modest rectangles. A perfectly centered horizon line juts from a singular form. Repetition, as found in minimalist art, is used to draw attention to the subtle details & linear interests. As I peer through my viewfinder, I am not only deeply engaged with form and texture, line, color and atmosphere, I am also contemplating the rate at which our farmland in disappearing. It is urgent for me to capture a place that historically has served as a source of health and ecosystem before it is gone. Through intersecting my obsession of minimalist art, photography and farmland, my intent is to inspire you to visually play in and to conserve this precious land. THIS IS THE PLACE I am telling you about.
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