This extensive survey of women in photography from the 1920s to the 1950s, organized jointly by the National Gallery of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, includes works by such well-known figures as Lisette Model, Tina Modotti, Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, Dorothea Lange, Imogen Cunningham, and Helen Levitt. But such bold-faced names are in the minority in this exhibit; the curators’ biggest achievement is to provide a platform for a panoply of largely forgotten photographers—in Asia as well as Europe and the Americas—who took advantage of new, compact cameras and broader career options for women in the first half of the 20th century, including wartime assignments that required genuine bravery. These photographers did not limit themselves to the soft-focus imagery common among women photographers working in the 19th century; the most impressive cluster of works features such avant-garde techniques as vertiginous angles, solarization, long exposures, mixed-media works, and photograms (including Bernice Kolko’s clever cameraless image of hair and scissors). The exhibit also grapples with the way that some of the photographers’ ethnographic work engaged in racist stereotyping, and examines how, for example, their experimentation with portraying the human body took a cruel turn in the work of Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl. Ultimately, few works in the exhibit are radically different from what men were producing around the same time, but the fact that women we’ve largely forgotten were managing to match or exceed the work of men, despite the inherent obstacles, is something worth celebrating. Oct. 31 to Jan. 30, 2022, at the National Gallery of Art. Free.