Olive Garrison received both a bachelor's and a master's degree from Columbia University in the early 20th century to be a teacher of fine arts. She was primarily interested in photography and won many local competitions early in her career.
The photographer traveled extensively throughout Europe, North America, and Central America in her lifetime. She took thousands of photographs, but only two were published in New York Times in 1935 and 1936 articles in – both of which were written by women.
Little is known about Garrison’s personal or professional life. Her last documented occupation was as an artist for the Paramount Card Company in Providence, Rhode Island.
Women artists have been overlooked and understudied in the long history of art. Many female photographers like Garrison have stories that remain untold. The UMFA holds 1,352 photographs by Garrison in the permanent collection, all of which came to the museum in 2000 and deserve further study.
Boulder Mountain, 1951
Gelatin silver print on paper