American Woman: 40 Years (1970s-2010s)

Donna is a shooter. Her camera is her semiautomatic, and her eye is unerring. She seldom misses. Once she sets her sights on you, you will be shot. You will be revealed. And she will keep shooting until one of you is dead.

Donna is a seductress, a vixen. Donna is a hound dog. Donna says she’s a tick, sucking out the blood, or a rat, gnawing away at the surface until those rodent incisors have cut to the quick, the meat, the heart, the brutal and beautiful truth. This is the story of Donna’s life. It is a story of sex and violence and love, of the personal and the professional, twisted together. In Italian, donna means woman, and this is the story, too, of four decades of American donnas.

Donna was the product of girls’ schools, institutions that believed the future was female. And she was the daughter of a strong woman and a man with a passionate eye who taught her what a camera could do. Donna had no formal training, but she had the conviction that the camera could be connected to her synapses, that she could master a loose and intuitive technique to tell stories for the good of humanity without losing her own. A small, magic, black box under her arm, she blasted out into the unknown on the hunt for other donnas.

Donna is a straight shooter. “Truth equals love, and love equals truth,” she says. “I insist on my right to carry, to record pleasure and pain, to show the enduring power of what it means to be born female.” Donna for donnas.

Claudia Glenn Dowling*

*Claudia Glenn Dowling often writes about photography, and has worked with Donna Ferrato at Life, Mother Jones, Aperture, Matador and other magazines, as well as on exhibitions and television shows.


American Woman: 40 Years (1970s-2010s)

Number of photo

49 prints, 3 canvas


49 Black and white prints on cotton paper, 3 Black and white canvas


27 prints 45 x 60 cm, 19 prints 55 x 75 cm, 3 prints 35 x 45 cm, 3 canvas 108 x 160 cm

Frame size

27 47 x 62 cm, 19 57 x 77 cm, 3 37 x 47 cm, Thickness 1,5 cm, Depth 2,5 cm
Black with glass
No hooks on the back

Linear development

39 mt minimum (spaces not included)

Download the datasheet