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The first book-length collection devoted to the extraordinary work of celebrated artist Joanne Leonard

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Countertop Sunset
Another Morning
Julia and Window of Vulnerability
Winged Ones

Copyright © 2007, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.


“Joanne Leonard will play an important role in the history of 20th-century culture, art, and photo history for her daring and innovative subject matter . . . her complex and multi-layered works address women’s life narratives, twinship, dementia, miscarriage, parenting, and the stages and conditions of female subjectivity.”
—Griselda Pollock, University of Leeds

Being in Pictures: An Intimate Photo Memoir interweaves the extraordinary photography and collage work of artist Joanne Leonard with personal narrative to reveal the creative possibilities of feminist art.

Leonard’s early photographs were largely documentary, capturing scenes from inner-city Oakland and the Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan. As her art evolved she began to challenge the boundary between personal and public images, and her work turned to autobiographical and daringly intimate themes, including a failed marriage, a miscarriage, single motherhood, her identity as twin and daughter of a Jewish immigrant, and the problems of aging and memory.

Leonard’s evocative and often dreamlike creations reveal “the tensions between realism and idealization, photography and fantasy.” These are pictures that both capture and re-create life in images that are haunting, tender, heartbreaking, and sometimes shocking—but always completely true.

Joanne Leonard is Diane M. Kirkpatrick and Griselda Pollock Distinguished University Professor of Art and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. Her photographs and photo-collage works have been widely exhibited and also published in Gardner's Art through the Ages, Janson's History of Art, and the Time-Life Library of Photography.

Lucy R. Lippard is a writer and political activist who has authored twenty books. The most recent include On the Beaten Track: Tourism, Art, and Place and The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society.



Watch: 10-minute Emmy award nominated film




Listen: Interview on American Public Media's The Story.


Read: Review Photography News

Read: Review NPR The Picture Show

Read: Q&A with Joanne Leonard (PDF)

View: Joanne Leonard and Helen Nestor Collections | Oakland Museum of California