Charlotte Brooks at LOOK, 1951–1971
September 28–December 18; Tuesday–Sunday, 11:00 AM–5:00 PM
This fall, the Davis Museum proudly presents Charlotte Brooks at LOOK, 1951-1971. This exhibit includes vintage prints of Charlotte Brooks’ work while she was the only woman photojournalist for LOOK magazine.
Charlotte Brooks attended Brooklyn College and the University of Minnesota, where she studied sociology. After graduating, Brooks returned to New York to pursue a career in dance and photography. She assisted Gjon Mili, and became well versed in his Modernist style. In 1944, she was discovered by Roy Stryker, and joined his project at Standard Oil of New Jersey documenting in photographs the story of oil during World War II.
Known as a “sociologist with a camera,” Brooks documented changes happening in American life from 1951 until 1971. Health and science, education, families, urban and suburban issues, entertainment, racial conflicts, and women’s roles were a handful of topics Brooks covered with her photos. Most women photographers during the mid 1900s were strictly hired on a freelance basis. They were subjected to covering soft news and stories featured in the section dedicated to readers who were women. Brooks, however, was known as “one of the guys,” and even though she was one of the few women photographers accepted in the male dominated field, she used her power and position to ensure that the photography field for future women photojournalists were more inclusive. In 1953, Brooks served as the secretary and vice-president for the American Society for Magazine Photographers, and during her tenure, she fought to change the gender differential in pay and marginalization of women photographers.
Curated by Ileana Selejan, The Linda Wyatt Gruber ‘66 Curatorial Fellow in Photography, the exhibition and publication are generously supported by Wellesley College Friends of Art at the Davis and the Constance Rhind Robey '81 Fund for Museum Exhibitions.
Museum hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 11:00am - 5:00pm