Born in New York, Josephine Powell earned a bachelor of arts from Cornell University in 1941, and an MA in social work from Columbia University in 1945. She taught herself how to use a camera, and in 1953 moved to Rome to work as a freelance photographer specializing in art, architecture, and ethnography. In 1974 she moved to Istanbul where she studied and photographed the villages, nomads, and textiles of Anatolia. She traveled widely and photographed the architecture, art, culture, and ethnology of countries in the Middle East and North Africa; Central, South, and Southeast Asia; Italy, Greece, and the Balkans. Here photos have appeared in more than 400 publications. In 2002 she donated her photographic archive to the Harvard University Fine Arts Library.
Riedlmayer, András J., Simon Norfolk and Nancy Hatch Dupree. Josephine Powell: Photographs of Afghanistan 1959-68. Kabul: Aga Khan Trust for Culture Afghanistan, 2017.
Josephine Powell was an American photographer, traveler, and a collector of Anatolian ethnographic objects and textiles. Josephine Powell: Photographs of Afghanistan 1959-68 was published in conjunction with the exhibition ‘Josephine Powell, Photographs of Afghanistan’. The exhibition was visited by more than 28,800 people during its two-month display in Kabul, reflecting the deep interest of the Afghan public in the historic sites, natural landscapes, and ethnographic sceneries depicted in her photographs.
This catalogue contains a selection of photographs of Afghanistan, sourced from the Josephine Powell photographic archives held in the Special Collections at the Fine Arts Library, Harvard University. Printed on the occasion of a public exhibition of Josephine Powell’s work at the historic Babur’s Garden in Kabul, the publication has been prepared by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy provided through the Afghan Cultural Initiative.