Home > Books > View

Seduced by Modernity by Katherine Tweedie


Co-authored by Katherine Tweedie and Mary O’Connor, Seduced by Modernity is the first book devoted to the life and work of Canadian-born modernist photographer Margaret Watkins. Best known for art and advertising photography executed in New York in the 1920s, Watkins was active in the Clarence White School of Photography and a participant in the shift from pictorialism to modernism.

Tweedie and O’Connor tell the story of a dedicated artist in difficult circumstances whose working life spanned a Victorian upbringing in Hamilton, Ontario, and the witnessing of the first Soviet Five-Year Plan. The authors use feminist and historical questions as well as close readings of the photographs to relate Watkins’ work to questions of gender, modernity, and visual culture. Watkins’ modernism, which involved experimentation and a radical focus on form, transgressed boundaries of conventional, high-art subject matter. Her focus was daily life and her photographs strike a balance between abstraction and an evocation of the everyday, offering a unique gendered perspective on modernism and modernity.

Click here to search for this book at the Atwater Library.

The Photography of Margaret Watkins






McGill-Queen's University Press