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Photography

Madame d'Ora

Madame d’Ora’s vibrant portraits of twentieth-century artists and intellectuals remain important testaments to European cultural life at the turn of the century and beyond. Not only did her high quality photographs of well-known figures such as Josephine Baker (1906–1975), Karl Kraus (1874–1936), Arthur Schnitzler (1862–1931) and Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) receive international acclaim, but her studios in Vienna and Paris also became fashionable meeting places for the cultural and intellectual elite. D’Ora’s achievements also paved the way for other European women’s careers in photography, an area in which many Jewish women in particular found success.

Annie Leibovitz

For decades, Annie Leibovitz and her camera have exposed to the public eye subtleties of character in rock stars, politicians, actors, and literary figures that lay beneath their celebrity personae. Her work first fueled the American fascination with rock ’n’ roll dissidents in the 1970s and then, in the 1980s and 1990s, captured the essence of the day’s great cultural icons. Her photographs make plain that, as Leibovitz herself once put it, she was not afraid to fall in love with her subjects. Anna-Lou Leibovitz was born on October 2, 1949, in Westbury, Connecticut. She was the third of six children to Marilyn Leibovitz, a modern dance instructor, and Sam Leibovitz, an air force lieutenant colonel. As the daughter of a career military officer, Leibovitz moved with her family frequently from town to town. The constant relocation fostered strong ties among the six Leibovitz children.

Lotte Jacobi

In 1935, Lotte Jacobi rejected the Nazis’ offer to grant her honorary Aryan status and fled first to London and then to the United States, where she became one of America’s foremost portrait photographers.

Nini Hess

In the years between 1914 and 1933 numerous significant personalities in art, culture, politics, society and sport met in the photographic portraiture studio of Nini and Carry Hess. With their technical and aesthetic brilliance, the sisters were among the leading photographers in Germany of the time. In the 1920s their photographs essentially stamped the image of Woman. Their long collaboration with the Städtischen Bühnen Frankfurt (Frankfurt city theaters) resulted in the portraits of numerous actors, both in the roles they played and in their own person. These included Albert Bassermann (1867–1952), Elisabeth Bergner, Carl Ebert (1887–1980), Heinrich George (1893–1946), Paul Graetz (1890–1938), Gerda Müller (1895–1951), Leontine Sagan (1889–1974); the composers Paul Hindemith (1885–1963) and Leos Janacek (1854–1928), and the authors Thomas Mann (1875–1955), Fritz von Unruh (1885–1970) and Carl Zuckmayer (1896–1977).

Gisèle Freund

With these words she described the extraordinary life and work of Gisèle Freund, European intellectual and writer, sociologist, historian of photography, a socialist, a Jew, and one of the world’s greatest photographers.

Trude Fleischmann

Trude Fleischmann, who developed a passion for photography already as a child, rapidly became one of Vienna’s leading portrait photographers soon after opening her own studio at the age of twenty-five.

Lotte Errell

Photojournalist Lotte Errell worked tirelessly to make her adventurous travels in Africa, China and the Middle East accessible to her readers at home in Germany and beyond. Her success illustrates how photography and travel journalism provided women in Weimar-era Germany with new possibilities for earning a living as well as achieving independence in their careers. Errell’s skills combined with the rise in popularity of adventure travel and amateur ethnology to allow her to reach international status. The quality of her reporting and photographs indicates that she would have continued to even higher levels had she not been hindered from continuing her career first by the Nazis’ rise to power and later by her second husband.

Marianne Breslauer

Although Marianne Breslauer worked as a photographer for only ten years of her life, she left behind an interesting oeuvre, for which she was awarded the Hann Höch Prize in Berlin in 1999.

Brazil, Contemporary

The Brazilian Jewish community is the second largest Jewish community in South America and one of the ten largest in the world.

Ilse Bing

Ilse Bing’s legacy is her photographs. She was an artist who seized the moment and is recognized as a pioneer in the birth of modern photography.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Photography." (Viewed on October 23, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/photography>.

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