A seminal figure in the history of performance art, Eleanor Antin is one of the most prolific artists of the last three decades, moving freely in many forms of media, including live and installation art, independent film, photography, video, drawing, painting and writing.
Diane Arbus changed how the world looks at photographs and how photographs look at the world. Best known for her pictures of “freaks” and eccentrics such as “The Jungle Creep,” “The Marked Man,” and nudists, she also changed the world of children’s fashion photography and celebrity photography.
Largely self-taught, Arnold was the first American woman to be accepted into Magnum Photos, a cooperative photography agency that in the 1950s helped photographers gain artistic and financial control of their work. Inspired by Magnum members such as Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Arnold took photographs for major newsmagazines such as Life. Her well-known studies of China, women, political figures like Senator Joseph McCarthy and Malcolm X, and movie stars like Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe have placed her among the top American photographers.
By focusing on Jewish women artists working in Britain today, whose Jewishness and gender are central to their artistic output, it offered valuable insights into the diverse ways in which women perceive their Jewishness in contemporary Britain. Aware of their complex “otherness” as women, Jews and artists, they put that awareness to good creative use; and in so doing, proved that art has a crucial role to play in exploring—and perhaps crystallizing—issues of identity.
The 1970s were a conceptual and political period in Israeli art. Art during these years expressed the plural form—of the nation, the society and of modern art.
The life of Ellen (Rosenberg) Auerbach was a constant journey of self-discovery and, in her photographic work, a search for the essence that lies behind people and things. Her curious mind, her keen and intuitive eye and her sense of humor permeated her photography, which was re-discovered in the late 1970s, along with that of other avant-garde photographers and artists of the Weimar Republic. Auerbach belonged to the generation of New Women who sought to break with traditional female roles and become independent through their work.
Photographer and photojournalist Eva Besnyö was born in Budapest on April 29, 1910.
Aenne Biermann was a photographer whose photographs appeared in international art and photography magazines.
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.
The Brazilian Jewish community is the second largest Jewish community in South America and one of the ten largest in the world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
There is no simple way to categorize Jewish American women photographers—they are too diverse a group. They come from distinctly different political periods, economic strata, and even cultures (some were born abroad). They share neither mind-set nor style, their subjects and interests vary widely, and their worldview and art seem to have little to do with their Jewish identity.
Photography was the primary method used to document the Zionist enterprise in Palestine and photographers assumed the responsibility of creating and expressing its history.
From Ethiopia to Yemen, India and Israel, Joan Roth’s remarkable life and photographic odyssey is a celebration of the strength and diversity of Jewish women around the world.
Rachel Salamander is a well-known personality in Munich, where she established a prominent bookshop, the Literaturhandlung, in 1982. This bookshop specializes in Jewish literature and has one of the largest collections of books in Germany about Judaism.
The first woman in Austria to become a career photojournalist and travel writer, and the first and only female member of the Austrian Kriegspressedienst (war information unit) during World War I, Alice Schalek paved the way for careers in both photography and journalism for other women.
Although not trained as an anthropologist, Marjorie Shostak authored an anthropological classic, the internationally acclaimed Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman, the life history of a woman of the !Kung San (or Bushmen) people of Africa’s Kalahari Desert.