Gender and consumerism in Nickolas Muray's photography for McCall's magazine, 1933-1945
thesisposted on 08.06.2021, 14:06 by Katherine Roze
This thesis examines aspects of gender and consumer culture in Nickolas Muray's photographs for McCall's magazine from 1933 to 1945. It emphasizes the fluidity of meaning from image content to magazine context and includes two image indexes of Muray's images for McCall's from 1933 to 1945. One features original photographs and the other, published images. McCall's was a mass circulating women's magazine designed for the middle class homemaker. Muray's photographs for McCall's had the dual responsibility of representing the magazine's identity and the reader's idealizations. His images reflected expectations and perpetuated stereotypes of the American woman. At times, her role embodied traditional female values and at other times, it embraced modem womanhood and consumer culture. The latter was continuously amplified by the context of the magazine. These aspects of her role did not conflict. Rather, they complemented one another and characterized the diversity and limitations of her identity.