Design of the book and photo by Alexey Murashko

Tartu Art Museum and curating platform Blind Carbon Copy in collaboration with designer Alexey Murashko have published a photo book Silver Girls. Retouched History of Photography, which is a unique first edition on early female photographers from Latvia and Estonia.

Stories Editorial December 22, 2020

The photo book Silver Girls. Retouched History of Photography is an extension of the exhibition of the same name, which took place this summer at the Tartu Art Museum in Estonia. The richly illustrated edition tells the stories of ten early photographers who worked in the territory of Latvia and Estonia at the beginning of the 20th century and in the interwar period. The book includes a wide range of visual heritage from various Latvian and Estonian museums and private archives, as well as exhibition documentation with works by three contemporary artists that reflect on the lost and neglected in our common visual history.


The curators and authors of the exhibition, Šelda Puķīte (Latvia) and Indrek Grigor (Estonia), comment: «Research on women’s history is gaining popularity around the world, and the Baltic States are also trying to contribute by gluing together the surviving historical fragments in order to find out women’s stories and identify the legacy left behind. Some of these stories prove to be very important in the context of art history, while others serve as small but important extensions to the vision of our common past. As in many other fields and professions, it is difficult to find female photographers in history books. We hope that this edition will set an important precedent for «finding the lost faces of these women» in the words of book artist Alexei Murashko, as well as creating a broader and more inclusive view of the history of photography and art in general.»


The book is published by the Tartu Art Museum and the Blind Carbon Copy platform, creating a model of cooperation between a memory institution and a contemporary art organisation. The author of the book’s design is the internationally acclaimed book artist Alexey Murashko. The book is printed and bound in the Jelgava Printing House, while the cover of the publication is printed in the printing house Veiters.


This book would not have been possible without the work and support of many researchers and institutions. The authors express special thanks to the Museum of Photography in Tallinn, Viljandi Museum, Hiiumaa Museum, Riga History and Navigation Museum, especially Lauma Lanceniece, Latvian Museum of Photography, especially Maira Dudareva, Guna Ševkina, and Sandis Zaķis, Aizkraukle Museum of History and Art, especially Ilzīte Ozoliņa, Riga Photography Biennial 2020, especially Inga Brūvere, as well as Herki Helves, Katrīna Teivane-Korpa, Pēteris Korsaks, Helgi Põllo, and Tanel Verk. The book is published with the financial support of the Estonian Cultural Capital Foundation, the Latvian State Cultural Capital Foundation, and Arctic Paper.


The photo book has been compiled in Latvian, Estonian and English and is currently available in the ISSP online store, by individually contacting and placing an order in the bookstore Mr. Page, as well as on the website of the project Silver Girls.