Ruth at 100

This section honors Ruth Orkin’s Centennial year. She was born September 3, 1921! There continue to be solo exhibitions, group shows and a new book to celebrate her tremendous contributions to the worlds of photography and film!

Check out this reel of Ruth’s Retrospective at Museo Civic de Bassano, up until Nov 6, 2022, by clicking this link:

Ruth’s Retrospective at Museo Civico di Bassano

Recent Events 

Mary Engel Presenting a Retrospective Talk on the Engel/Orkin Archive

The National Arts Club (March 28, 2022)

Current Exhibitions

Solo Show

Kutxa Kultur Artgeunea, San Sebastián, Spain: Ruth Orkin: The Illusion of Time (July 7, 2022 – November 6, 2022)

Group Show

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA – Modern Women/Modern Vision: Photogaphy from Bank of America Collection (October 02, 2022 — December 31, 2022)

Past Exhibitions

Museo Civico di Bassano, Bassano del Grappo, Italy: Ruth Orkin: Anthology (December 18, 2021 – May 22, 2022).

Ruth Orkin: Anthology, a retrospective of Orkin’s seminal photography and film spanning decades, is on view at Museo Civico di Bassano through May 22, 2022.


FOTOGRAFISKA, NY: Ruth Orkin – Expressions of Life (September 3 – December 5, 2021)


“When I was a little girl, my mother Ruth was larger than life. She told me to call her Ruth at a young age, so she could hear me in a crowd. She had a great personality, with lots of charisma, and people always said she had chutzpah. She was warm, but she could be tough and strong too. In my eyes, she had it all.”

—Mary Engel

Ruth Orkin (1921-1985) ventured into photography having received her first camera at the age of ten. As a middle school student she successfully skipped chemistry class in favor of mastering the dark room, and fell in love with the alchemy of photography.

A soundscape emanates from Orkin’s work, rising from the print to reach our inner ear. The sounds of children at play, the calm moments in a bustling train station, the turning of a bike wheel, a crowd in protest, the kisses exchanged by couples in dark bars and public benches. Orkin’s photographs are playful and jovial, giving the impression of lightheartedness, but her approach to her subjects affirm the depth of her artistic practice. She sought to capture life at its fullest, exploring the melody and motion of human breath and the songs that are born from it. Gestures and human expressions are ever present in her photographs. Her work reveals the extraordinary opera of seemingly ordinary life. Read more here. 


PUBLIC RADIO INTERVIEW: WNYC “All of It” with Alison Stewart

DOCUMENTARY – Mary Engel’s Ruth Orkin: Frames of Life:

 Password to access the film: Videos123


Tanglewood Music Center, Lenox , MA – online exhibit

Hundred Heroines, London England – online exhibit

Leonard Bernstein Office, NYC

Central Park Conservancy, NYC – Instagram – @Centralparknyc

National Museum of Women in the Arts, Wash, DC

Milan Image Art Fair –  October 6 – 10

BONHAMS – February 2021

There was a solo online auction at Bonhams, with a live online auction on 2/2/21, noon EST.

PHILLIPS – October 2021


Photographs Do Not Bend, Dallas, TX- PDNB –  June 2021

Stephen Bulger Gallery,  Toronto, Canada – StephenBulgerGallery –  August 2021

Paul Smith Store, 88 Wooster Street, NYC – September 3, 2021

Fotografiska, New York City – Fotografiska –  September 3 – December 5, 2021

Frierium, F3, Berlin, Germany –  – September 4 – November 21, 2021

Museo Civico di Bassano, Bassano del Grappo, Italy – diChroma Photography – December 18, 2021 – May 22, 2022


Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA – Modern Women/Modern Vision: Photogaphy from Bank of America Collection
October 02, 2022 — December 31, 2022
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY – Our Selves: Photographs by Women Artists from Helen Kornblum
April 16, 2022 – October 10, 2022
Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, NY – A Female Gaze
January 18, 2022 – April 16, 2022

National Gallery of Art  – The New Woman Behind the Camera,

October 31, 2021 – January 30, 2022

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY – The New Woman Behind the Camera 
July 2 – October 31, 2021

Museum of Modern Art – The Helen Kornblum Collection, 2022.

“Essere Umane” exhibition, Museo San Domenico, Forli, Italy 9/17/21- 1/30/22

Galerie-Z22 “The Female Side of the Moon” Berlin, Germany

Howard Greenberg Gallery – Spring 2022


A retrospective book will be published on September 3 by Hatje Cantz.

ZOOM Interview- PDNB Gallery:



East Bay Photo Collective- – April 9, 2021



Early Selected Articles