This exhibition examines the unique perspective that Laura Gilpin demonstrates in her images of women in the Southwest.
Gilpin’s portraits represent the lived experiences of women rather than the stereotypes of western women as cowgirls or pioneers. Her women are doctors, founders of companies, mothers, and homemakers. Offered in comparison to these images are photographs by Edward S. Curtis, and WPA images by Irving Rusinow. These comparative elements help tease out a nuanced understanding of Gilpin’s work within the photographic tradition while still maintaining her unique perspective. Curtis’ staged images of Native American women show how Gilpin worked within communities to photograph authenticity, rather than working outside of the communities to document. Rusinow’s WPA images of men in their homes with their children show how Gilpin worked within the photographic tradition but did so with her own unique perspective.
Laura Gilpin’s Insider Look: Women of the Southwest will be curated by Katherine Smith. Smith is a senior at Colorado College and has served as an intern in the FAC Museum for over two years. In that time, she has been intensively involved in a diverse range of museum activities. Smith’s experience working on multiple aspects of Museum collections and exhibitions, has culminated in her leadership of this project with guidance from the Museum staff. The Gilpin photographs included in the exhibition have been selected from the FAC Museum collection, and are accompanied by works from local collections.