Lesbian Art Herstory: Laura Gilpin – The Photographer of The Southwest

This film celebrates the life and work of Laura Gilpin (USA), an artist whos career spanned 76 years yet who worked most of that time in obscurity.

Photographer and lesbian Laura Gilpin (1891 – 1979) came from Colorado, USA and lived there most of her life. At 1917 she studied under fine art photography at pictorial photographer Clarence White’s school in New York. There she learned to distinguish between a work of art and documental photography. Gertrude Käsebier was also one of her mentors.

Laura was a visual poet. Her favourite medium was hand coated platinum process. Laura Gilpin said once in an interview:

Good design is absolutely essential I don’t care what medium you are working in if it is architecture or writing or music or anything. If you have not got a good design and you don’t get anywhere with it. And the same is certain very true of photography.

She was discovered and recognized as one of USA’s great photographers at the age of 83. However the American scollars still only mention her partner and great love Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ W. Forster as her friend.

Laura Gilpin’s Books

Laura Gilpin made a number of books among others – MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK. by Laura Gilpin (1927). The Pueblos: A Camera Chronicle, by Laura Gilpin (Hastings house) 1941. Temples in Yucatán: A Camera Chronicle of Hichen Itza, Hastings House, 1948.  The Rio Grande: River of Destiny, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1949 and The Enduring Navajo. University of Texas Press. 1987. ISBN 9780292720589.

Related Link

Women Artist of the American West – Women in Photography Archive: Laura Gilpin Gallery
Lesbian Art Herstory: Photographer Laura Gilpin, USALesbian Art Herstory: Photographer Laura Gilpin, USA