Gender Bender: The Private Photographs of Marie Høeg & Bolette Berg


Believe it or not, skepticism over gender roles have long existed. The 1900's saw two notable women photographers who loved to question the role of the woman in society. Marie Høeg and Bolette Berg, both famous for running their own photography studio named Berg & Høeg in Horten, Norway, catered to all the needs of photographers from all genres.

The two made a living out of portraiture, landscape photographs and sometimes naval photographs. They produced several images. However, for a long time, Berg & Hoeg was long forgotten until the discovery of 440 glass negatives in a disused barn in Oslo.

Among the glass plates was a box named "Private", and inside the box were photographs of Høeg and Berg roleplaying as men, wearing masculine clothes that emphasized androgyny. Hoeg liked to don waxed mustaches, with a white shirt, cap or cigarette, as she pretended to be Roald Amundsen, the Arctic explorer who led the first expedition to the Northwest Passage in 1903.

The two women also posed with their female friends, pretending to play vices that are usually attributed to men -- smoking, drinking, playing cards. Marie Høeg was the main subject in the majority of the images and was a known activist for women's rights. She even founded the Horten Branch of National Association for Women's Suffrage, the Horten Women's Council and the Horten Tuberculosis Foundation. Berg was the woman behind the camera.

The two women eventually left Horten and set up a studio in Oslo and continued their careers as photographers, until their deaths. Their images were likely believed to have been discovered in the 1980's.

Images are sourced from Dangerous Minds.

written by lomographymagazine on 2017-05-17 #people #vintage-photography #marie-hoeg #bolette-berg

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