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Portraiture

Painting Courage and Painting History

Marlis Glaser, a German artist, grew up in rural Germany, not knowing any Jews or her father’s previous involvement with the Nazi party. Glaser was introduced to a German Jewish woman who had survived the Holocaust. Now, Glaser has shaped her art around Judaism, and recently converted. Her colorful work includes hundreds of portraits of Holocaust survivors, their families, and other Jewish figures throughout history.

Hedda Sterne Protests the “Monster National Exhibition.”

May 20, 1950
“I never thought in terms of a career, but I worked with tremendous urgency." - Artist Hedda Sterne

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).

Katherine M. Cohen

Although few Jews were sculptors in nineteenth-century America, in part due to the biblical prohibition against creating graven images, Katherine Cohen, a sculptor from Philadelphia with elite academic training, exhibited figurative works, often of Jewish subjects, in an era when women and Jews achieved slight renown in the art world.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Portraiture." (Viewed on September 26, 2018) <https://jwa.org/tags/portraiture>.

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