Group 2

Birgitta Ralston

Birgitta Ralston lives and works in Cambridge. She worked as a model in the 1950s and 60s. While working for the Eileen Ford Agency, Dorian Lee and Jo Somers, she modelled for Richard Avedon, Henry Clark, Martin Munkacsi, Erwin Blumenfeldt and other renowned photographers. Inspired by their work, she started taking photographs herself.

In the early 1970s, she studied photography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under Minor White, who introduced her to Eastern mysticism, Zen Buddhism, American mysticism and the theory of the photographic zone system as described by Ansel Adams in his textbooks on photography. In the collection Masker (Masks, 1974–77) Ralston describes in images the transition she underwent when she decided to take photographs instead of being photographed.

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