Business & Economics: Advertising and Marketing

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Helena Rubinstein

Advertising and Consumer Culture in the United States

In the twentieth century, Jewish women played a disproportionate role in the development of American consumer culture because of a combination of factors. For one, American industry became increasingly consumer-oriented, and consumer industries were comparatively open to small entrepreneurs. For another, Jewish immigrants and their children tended to display strong entrepreneurial tendencies.

Ilse Bing, Self-Portrait, 1931

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.

Ruth Gikow

Ruth Gikow reached maturity as an artist during the heyday of abstract expressionism, yet she remained committed to a figurative art that, she believed, reflected the humanity of her subjects and was both politically and socially relevant.

Donna Karan, 2008

Donna Karan

Not just an ordinary fashion designer, Donna Karan has proved she is an extraordinary New York designer. She has stretched her role as “artist” in the high-paced designer world to include aspects of life far beyond the typical wardrobe.

Barbara Kruger Art Installation at the Australian Center for Contemporary Art

Barbara Kruger

An image like a 1950s advertising poster of a girl looking admiringly at a boy making a muscle is captioned “We don’t need another hero” in red. A woman looking into a shattered mirror is underscored by the jagged headline “You are not yourself.” These works, by artist Barbara Kruger, are not only among the most easily recognizable in American art of the last twenty years, but are also—through their relentless questioning of gender roles, consumer society, and the power of the media—among the most provocative.

Matilda Steinam Kubie

Matilda Steinam Kubie directed her energies toward the support and growth of charitable institutions that sought to better the lives of those in the Jewish community. She helped many organizations extend their reach through her leadership and her savvy use of advertising.

Media, Israeli: Portrayal of Women

The integrated examination of the content of the Israeli print and electronic media engaged either in documenting reality (e.g. newspapers, news programs, current-events programs, talk shows, social programs) or in entertainment (e.g. quiz shows, soap operas, children’s programs) demonstrates the perception of the marginality of women in Israeli society. While men are presented as the “normal,” women, who constitute the majority of society, are presented as the minority “other”—the exception, the incomplete, the impaired, the marginal.

Photographers in the United States

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.

Shirley Polykoff

“Does she ... or doesn’t she?” asked advertising copywriter Shirley Polykoff in 1955, in the first advertising campaign ever to try to sell hair dye to a mass audience.

"They Can Kill You But They Can't Eat You" Front Cover by Dawn Steel

Dawn Steel

Dawn Steel’s career began with sports publication, but she went on to become the merchandising director of Penthouse, entrepreneur of her own company, and finally moved into Hollywood. Despite struggling with studio gender politics, extraordinary marketing talents ultimately catapulted her to becoming the industry’s second female studio head.
Grete Stern Portrait by Ellen Auerbach, 1929

Grete Stern

Grete Stern, who started her career in the European avant-garde of the late 1920s, produced her major body of work in Argentina, where her modern and different style placed her among the founders of Argentina’s modern photography.

Helen Rosen Woodward

Helen Rosen Woodward is best known for her contribution to the world of advertising and is generally believed to be the first female account executive in the United States.

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