The Boch Center (Boston) is now showing “Women Who Rock,” a digital exhibit celebrating female musicians during Women’s History Month. Featuring photographs taken by Susan Wilson of artists including Tracy Chapman, Patty Griffin, and Tina Turner, the exhibit showcases more than a dozen images taken at the Wang Theatre and other venues across Boston, as well as Wilson’s studio in Cambridge. The exhibit is on display through the end of March 2021 on the digital marquee outside the Wang Theatre and online at https://www.bochcenter.org/susanwilson.  

Susan Wilson is a photographer, author, and public historian based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the owner/photographer of Susan Wilson Photo in Cambridge, as well as the official House Historian of the Omni Parker House and a Resident Scholar at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center.

While attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Susan was tapped to write and photograph for Boston’s two women’s newspapers, Equal Times and Sojourner. That work led directly to freelancing for The Boston Globe, where hundreds of her stories and images focusing on women performers, the arts, entertainment, history, and culture appeared regularly from 1978 to 1996. While teaching photojournalism and running the senior lecture series at the New England School of Photography (NESOP), she served as the de facto “house photographer” at Harvard Square’s iconic folk music coffeehouse, Club Passim, until its original owners retired in 1995. 

In her Cambridge photo studio and on location, Susan gained national recognition for her lively portraiture of hundreds of well-known local and national musicians including Bill Morrissey, Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, Patty Larkin, Tracy Chapman, Alison Krauss, Suzanne Vega, Pete Seeger, Sleepy LaBeef, the Clancy Brothers, Sol Y Canto, and Taj Mahal.

“Susan is more than just an incredibly talented photographer; she is a historian documenting the women who made a profound impact on all genres of music,” said Joe Spaulding, President and CEO of the Boch Center. “This collection includes some of the biggest names in music that helped build Boston’s reputation as one of the greatest cities for live music, by putting on unforgettable live performances at venues across town.”

The artists featured in Women Who Rock include:

  • Joan Armatrading
  • Tracy Chapman
  • Judy Collins
  • Patty Griffin
  • Alison Krauss
  • Patty Larkin
  • Loretta Lynn
  • Aimee Mann
  • Lori McKenna
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Bernice Johnson
  • Carly Simon
  • Mary Travers
  • Tina Turner
  • Suzanne Vega

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Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music and more for What'sUpNewp, Providence Monthly, SO RI, and The Bay. He DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse" Tuesday nights, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM.