Snapshots of Dangerous Women

For the awesomely daring women in our lives comes the perfect gift: a jewel of a book that collects vintage candid snapshots of women enjoying unconventional activities. For the last two decades, Peter Cohen has been combing estate sales and flea markets collecting vernacular, or "found," photography taken in the middle part of the twentieth century. In his collection are countless images of women of all ages in various unconventional activities for the time: there are women swigging booze out of a bottle, boxing, playing pick-up football, smoking, or shooting arrows or guns—incongruous and playful behavior, all the while often performed in lovely dresses. Snapshots of Dangerous Women collects many of these period photographs, showcasing women from the thirties, forties, and fifties who are equal parts badass and rebellious, and, above all, clearly having a lot of fun. This charming book makes the ideal gift for the bold and free-spirited women in our lives.

About The Author

Peter J. Cohen is an art collector who lives in New York. Mia Fineman is associate curator in the department of photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She is also the author of ten books and has written about art and culture for many publications, including The New York Times,, The Village Voice, and McSweeney’s.

  • Publish Date: March 31, 2015
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Photography - Subjects & Themes - Portraits & Selfies
  • Publisher: Universe
  • Trim Size: 6-3/8 x 8-1/4
  • Pages: 128
  • US Price: $27.50
  • CDN Price: $36.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-7893-2912-7


"[Snapshots of Dangerous Women] lets us look into the past--the early to middle part of the twentieth century--with wit and understated humor. . . . We get a satisfying number of young and not-so-young femmes fatales, vixens, and vamps, posing, mincing, moping, strutting their stuff, inclining languorously, smoking, moping, and flirting with the camera as if to say, 'I never thought this could feel so good...' [while] the introduction by Mia Fineman is a parallel collection of funny and poignant quotes and definitions of who they are, these unkosher ladies." -Huffington Post

"What does a 'dangerous woman' look like? After over a decade of rifling through flea market boxes and garage sales, art collector Peter J. Cohen may have the answer. [Vintage photographs reveal] women riding rodeo horses, sporting men’s coats, and slugging down beers in the most 'unladylike fashion' for the time period they were taken in."

"A dangerous woman doesn't break the rules - she makes them. . . . In Snapshots of Dangerous Women, a charming book of found photographs dating from the first half of the 20th century and assembled by Peter J. Cohen, anonymous young women are pictured doing all the things ladies did not do." -W Magazine

"Filled with original photographs of women hunting, driving cars, smoking, wearing men's clothes and drinking alcohol at times when the behavior was prohibited, [Rizzoli's Snapshots of Dangerous Women] is emblematic of the strength and vivacity of women." -Harper's Bazaar

"Over the course of two decades, Cohen has amassed a stunning collection of more than 60,000 vintage photographs of women." -Washington Post