Gay Block’s photography allowed her to explore surprising facets of her subjects, from girls at summer camp to Holocaust survivors to her own mother. Block began her career as a portrait photographer by taking pictures of people in the Jewish community in Houston. She later collaborated with writer Malka Druker on a highly praised exhibit and book, RESCUERS: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust. Throughout her career, Block shot photographs and videos of her mother, with whom she had a troubled relationship, in an attempt to understand her mother and bridge the gap between them. After her mother’s death, Block used those photographs and videos to construct an award-winning visual biography of her mother, Bertha Alyce: Mother exPosed. The work explored her mother’s frustrations and the dreams she had abandoned to become a wife and mother. In 2006, Block went back to the subject of an earlier series she had done on girls at summer camp, photographing the same girls 25 years later as adults. Her work has been displayed in a number of prestigious museums, including MoMA.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Gay Block." (Viewed on January 21, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/block-gay>.