Ruth Matilda Anderson in Hotel Suizo

Rúa do Cardeal Payá, 18
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  • Ruth Anderson y el Hotel Suizo

The North American photographer Ruth Matilda Anderson, pioneer in her times, visited Galicia in several occasions during the 1920’s because she was sent by the Hispanic Society of America.

Galician women had a definite influence on the vision that Anderson got of the rural area. They were privileged informers due to the fact that the scenery of their images was mostly this environment, secondary and small localities where female figures stood out.

She was notable for being a documentary photographer and ethnographer. During the months of her stay in Galicia, Ruth developed her photographs in a camping photo lab which she had improvised in the hotel room or in the lodge where she stayed, as for example the Hotel Suizo in Compostela. For colour photographs, she sent the photographic plates to the United States to have them developed there. These pictures were always of regional dresses and they were taken in broad daylight due to the emulsions’ low sensitivity. Once developed and classified, black and white negatives were also sent in batches to the Hispanic Society.

In 2011, the Sede Afundación Santiago de Compostela hosted a travelling exhibition of the photographer’s work that had the title of 'Ruth Matilda Anderson: Una mirada de antaño'.