An illustrated account of the life and work of the pioneering photographer
The Photographic Legacy of Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864–1952) draws on original papers and photographs from the Library of Congress to document the extraordinary life and nearly seventy-year career of this pioneering photographer. Maria Elizabeth Ausherman illuminates the early origins of Johnston’s style and vision, and her attempts to change society through her art. One of the first women to work in an emerging field dominated by men, Johnston achieved acclaim as an accomplished photographer and photojournalist.
As the official White House photographer for five administrations, she was instrumental in defining the medium and inspiring women to train in and appreciate photography. But it is her monumental nine-state survey of southern American architecture that stands as her most significant contribution to the history and development of photography both as art and as documentary. Through her photography, Johnston showed reverence for the beautiful historic buildings she appreciated and also helped shape architectural and photographic preservation in the United States.