We probably first saw Alice Austen's photographs at an exhibition of her work at Richmond College in Staten Island, NY. Alice was a pioneer 19th Century photographer who was born and raised in Staten Island. By now everyone pretty much accepts that she was a Lesbian, or a woman who loved women. DYKE A Quarterly was the first periodical to write about her as such.
The text reads, Alice Austen, The Darned Club, Staten Island, New York, October 29, 1891. Left to right: Alice Austen and friends Trude Ecceston, Julia Marsh, and Sue Ripley.
We were smitten with Alice Austen's work as it tied in nicely with our project of bringing art and history to our readers. At the time we were putting together the article for DYKE, we met with Ann Novotny, who was writing a book about Alice. She gave us several prints (reprints...not originals) to work with. Our treatment of this one is based on another love, Japanese Woodblock prints. The staff at Tower Press, the all woman print shop in NYC where we printed the magazine, helped us realize our vision.