The Most Beautiful Suicide

Trigger warning: discussion of suicidality and graphic imagery.

When did people start smiling in photographs?

If Instagram had existed during the Victorian era, selfies would probably contain a lot more prune-face than "duckface." By the mid-19th century, camera technology was still in its infancy, and exposure took several minutes. Beginning in the first British photo studio, as academic Christina Kotchemidova discovered, photographers would request patrons to say "prunes" instead of "cheese" to make them purse their lips together.

Why is photography still a male-dominated industry? Listen in to learn more about women's roles in the history of photography, including the work of Frances Benjamin Johnston, Margaret Bourke-White, Diane Arbus and other notable female photographers.

When Molly and I discussed Guerrilla Girls on Stuff Mom Never Told You and asked listeners to send us suggestions for the best women artists out there today, we got a crash course in contemporary art education in return. Thanks to our art savvy audience, I can now name drop my way through any gallery opening like an A-plus art school grad.