Francesca Woodman Untitled, from Eel Series, Venice, Italy 1978 © Woodman Family Foundation. Artist’s Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London 2022.


Born 1958
Died 1981
Nationality American

Francesca Woodman’s photographs explore issues of gender and the self, looking at the representation of the body, and more specifically at how her own body relates to the world and her surroundings. Born in Denver, Colorado, Woodman studied at Rhode Island School of Design from 1975 to 1978, spending the final year of her studies on an exchange programme in Rome. She had previously lived in Italy with her artist parents during her youth, and later lived in New York. Woodman was interested in Surrealism and Symbolism, particularly the work of Max Klinger. She began to take photographs from around the age of thirteen or fourteen until her suicide at the age of twenty-two. Despite her short career, she produced a significant and influential body of work.

Glossary terms

Glossary terms


A nineteenth century movement among photographers who explored the artistic potential of the new technology, looking to paintings for stylistic models.