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Remembering Abigail Heyman, Badass Feminist Photojournalist

Recently, the New York Times reported that feminist photojournalist Abigail Heyman died on May 28 at the age of 70. The cause of her death was heart failure, and she died at her home in Manhattan.

The photographer was known best for her book Growing Up Female: A Personal Photo-Journal, which was published in 1974. For the book, she photographed women in their everyday, limited roles. There are young girls playing with dolls, housewives caring for screaming infants, strippers, and young women waiting to be asked to dance. She called the work “one feminist’s point of view” of the narrow range of choices women had in life. In the most controversial and striking images, she photographed herself having an abortion. The book sold over 35,000 copies, which is rare for photograph collections.

In 1978, she published Butcher, Baker, Cabinetmaker, a photo collection dedicated to working women. For her 1987 book Dreams & Schemes: Love and Marriage in Modern Times, Heyman attended 200 weddings to document the behind the scenes drama.

Heyman was the first woman to be accepted into the the famous photographer’s collective Magnum, which had been founded in 1947. Her work appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Time, Life, Ms., and Harpers. She also served as the director of the documentary and photojournalism department of the International Center of Photography in the mid-1980s.

Born in Connecticut in 1942, Heyman later attended Sarah Lawrence College, and had her first photography exhibit in New York in 1972. She was twice divorced, and is survived by her son and her mother.

Click through the gallery to see a few of Heyman’s photos.

Garnet is a recent graduate of Columbia University. She is “that person” who starts dancing at a party when everyone else is standing around, and if there were a Facebook stalking Olympics, she would be a gold medalist. She also loves cheesy 90s music, and almost died of happiness when Vanilla Ice retweeted her. Once. Follow her on Twitter @garnethenderson.

[Lead image via]

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Garnet HendersonCOLLEGECANDY Writer
Dancer, choreographer, personal trainer, and freelance writer based in New York City. More here.