University of Massachusetts Amherst

Through The Photographer's Eyes: The Diana Mara Henry Collection (20th Century Photographer)

Professional life

Henry was on staff at the International Center of Photography from the time it began in 1974 to 1979, teaching black and white photography in its Community Workshop program and Cibachrome printing from Kodachrome. Her star pupil, David Kreindler, took a photo of her there showing her portfolio to the great Ernst Haas.

At the same time, she was very involved in the creation of the Alice Austen House Museum. Her article about it for the Staten Island Advance in 1970 introduced her to the work of a photographer whose career and character feel like a close match to her own. Like Austen, Henry traveled to Europe where she photographed a school chum's life as a jockey and trainer around the town of Pompadour, in the Limousin, France, as well as the denizens and landscapes of La France Profonde. Henry’s only solo exhibit in NYC, at the Overseas Press Club, presented this work and Malcolm Forbes' castle lifestyle at Balleroy.

Another foray was to Plains, Georgia, in 1976 to photograph the kudzu invasion, the Carter family worm farm, good ole boys, and Jimmy Carter's mother watching the election results.

While attending the Master's program in Visual Arts Administration, Henry applied for and received grants to photograph One-Room Schools of Ulster Country, (a NY State Council on the Arts Individual Artist's Grant) and a 40-day Artists in Residence grant in the Westchester Public Schools (from the NY Foundation for the Arts, still her fiscal sponsor.)

Among her professional memberships was the American Society of Picture Professionals, for whose newsletter she wrote an article on where to find the work of great women photographers in special collections. Her new book, A Life in Photography, follows on the heels of Women on the Move, published in 2012. Diana Mara Henry was cajoled out of retirement by Ken Burns in 2007 to shoot the cover of him and his editor, Paul Barnes, for Editors Guild magazine, her last professional shooting assignment. 

Over the years the number of requests for Diana Mara Henry's photographs coming from filmmakers has increased; in the pipeline are films about Nora Ephron, Sarabeth Levine, and the equal rights amendment.