The Witch of Kodakery is the ground-breaking biography of Myra Albert Wiggins, the successful turn-of-the-century Oregon photographic artist with connections to Alfred Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession. Myra Wiggins embodied the ideal of the “new woman”—independent, energetic, and ambitious—as depicted by the Eastman Kodak Company’s “Kodak Girl” and promoted as “The Witch of Kodakery.”
Wiggins began her career in 1891 with three years of study at the Art Student’s League in New York City. Returning to the Pacific Northwest, her artistry encompassed landscapes, portraits, family life, and scenes from her travels. For many photographs, she built sets and props and enlisted her housekeeper and daughter to pose in heirloom Dutch clothing, thus pioneering the Dutch genre in photography. Her photographs were exhibited across the United States and Europe, eventually winning more than fifty awards, including a prize trip to Paris in 1900.
In modern times, Wiggins’s outstanding contribution to photographic art has been largely forgotten. In The Witch of Kodakery, Carole Glauber resurrects Wiggins’s pioneering role with a provocative text and fine examples of the artist’s work. Included are reproductions of more than 70 original photos, particularly from Wiggins’s most prolific years, 1888 to 1929. Also included is a foreword by Terry Toedtemeier, curator of photography at the Portland Art Museum.
Illustrations / notes / bibliography / index / 160 pages (1997)