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(Identity and Image)
Lauren Greenfield
Lauren Greenfield - Girl Culture

September 28 - December 12, 2004

Lauren Greenfield - Girl Culture
Sheena, 15, tries on clothes with Amber, in a department store dressing room, San Jose, CA

“I realize that, as a photographer exploring the media’s influence, I walk a fine line. The fact that I have had so many rich assignments on girls and popular culture from major magazines is due, in part, to the sexiness of the subject, in literal and figurative terms. Much of my access to the popular culture is that of a privileged insider, as a member of the press; and, as such, I am complicit in the creation of imagery of women in the mainstream media.”
–Lauren Greenfield


For over five years, award-winning photojournalist Lauren Greenfield photographed the daily lives and rituals of girls around the United States. Girl Culture investigates girls’ relationship to their bodies and the ways the female body has become a template for the conflicting messages to girls within contemporary culture.

Lauren Greenfield, an internationally exhibited photographer, concentrates on cultural documentary projects—in Europe, Mexico, and the United States. In Girl Culture, she focuses her attention on contemporary American girls and through compelling and insightful images, explores troubling aspects of growing up female. In her book and exhibition essay, she discusses how this project was informed by her own memories of life in Los Angeles, where “chronic teenage dieting…. gravitation toward good-looking and thin friends….and …. the importance of clothes and status symbols” were strong influences “in that “highly materialistic, imaged oriented” environment.

Lauren Greenfield interviewed many of her subjects for this project and excerpts of those narratives appear with the exhibition in these notes. Complete transcripts are printed in the Gallery Notes and in the book Girl Culture.

Read Lauren Greenfield's Artist Statement about Girl Culture here.

“Girl culture is the key to understanding what it means to be a young woman today or in the past. In every historical epoch, girls have formed a unique set of activities and concerns generated by their developmental needs as well as the adult society in which they live. What girls do, how they think, what they write, whisper, and dream, all reveal a great deal about them and about us. Lauren Greenfield’s photographic vision of contemporary girl culture is both a revealing documentary record and a disquieting personal commentary, infused with a distinctly sympathetic but biting point of view.” –Joan Jacobs Brumberg

      Lauren Greenfield - Girl Culture
Showgirl Anne-Margaret in her dressing room at the
Stardust Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada.


Lauren Greenfield grew up in Venice and graduated from Harvard in 1987. Her photographs have been published widely in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Harper’s, Time, Life, National Geographic, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, American Photo, French Photo, Stern, the London Sunday Times Magazine, and other periodicals. In 1993, Greenfield received the first photographic documentary grant sponsored by National Geographic for a project about Los Angeles youth. The resulting work, Fast Forward: Growing Up in the Shadow of Hollywood, became a best-selling photography book (Knopf, 1997) and received the Community Awareness Award from the National Press Photographers’ “Pictures of the Year” competition.

Her second book, Girl Culture (Chronicle Books, 2002) is now in a third printing. Large-scale exhibitions of Girl Culture are touring major museums in the United States and Europe through 2006. Greenfield has been the recipient of several major awards and grants, including the 1997 ICP Infinity Award for Young Photographer, the Nikon Sabbatical Grant, and the 1999 Hasselblad Grant. She was selected as one of twelve acclaimed photographers commissioned by the Center for Creative Photography for Indivisible, a national documentary project sponsored by Pew Charitable Trusts.

American Photo named Greenfield one of the 25 most influential photographers working today. Her work is in many collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the International Center of Photography, the Center for Creative Photography, the Harvard University Archive, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the St. Louis Museum of Art, the Springfield Museum of Art, the Brauer Museum of Art, the University of Kentucky Art Museum, the Jewish Museum of New York, the Davenport Museum of Art, Iowa, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Snite Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, the Reader’s Digest Collection, the Hallmark Collection, and the French Ministry of Culture. Greenfield is a member of VII, a photography collective based in Paris and lives in Venice, California with her husband and son. For more information about Lauren Greenfield, see her website at

This exhibition was organized and circulated by the Center for Creative Photography, the University of Arizona.

About the prints: 58 silver dye bleach prints

Lauren Greenfield
Meet the Artist and Book Signing
Tuesday, October 19, 5:30pm

"Girl Culture" - Artist Lecture
Tuesday, October 19, 7:00pm
Building 110, Room 112
(sponsored by Canon Professional)

Click here for exhibition brochure...
  Joan Jacobs Brumberg
Meet the Author and Book Signing
Thursday, November 4, 5:30pm

"From Corsets to Body Piercing - American Girls and Their Body Projects" - Public Lecture
Thursday, November 4, 7:00pm
DBCC Theater Center

Click here for press about the exhibition...

Although photography’s loyalty to surface truth is its greatest strength, it is nonetheless at a
disadvantage when it comes to getting to know individuals
.” –Lauren Greenfield

Lauren Greenfield - Girl Culture Lauren Greenfield - Girl Culture
Lauren Greenfield - Girl Culture
Alli, Annie, Hannah, and Berit, all 13, before the first big party of the seventh grade, Edina, MN Allegra, 4, plays dress-up, Malibu, CA The Stanford University women's swim team, Palo Alto, CA

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