Photography

Content type
Collection

Mariana Yampolsky

One of the most prominent and influential artists of Mexico, Mariana Yampolsky grew up surrounded by intellectual thought, socialist idealism, and an interest in global humanism. Yampolsky’s social consciousness was evident in her printmaking, textbook graphic arts editing, and photography. A member of the Taller de Grafica Popular, she exhibited her work throughout the world. 

Hannah Wilke

The body is omnipresent in the work of artist Hannah Wilke. The nude body and its self-representation became the vehicle by which Wilke exposed personal, political, and linguistic themes. Her work continues to influence the complex art of postmodern artists today.

Doris May Ulmann

Doris May Ulmann was a photographer who elevated photography to a fine art form, as she captured celebrities of her day, doctors, black plantation workers, and the rural poor of Appalachia. Born in New York in 1882, Ulman rose to become a prominent photographer of all aspects of American life and is credited with producing the most extensive documentation of southern plantation life in her work.

Grete Stern

Grete Stern was one of the founders of Argentina’s modern photography. After studying photography in bohemian Berlin and at the legendary Bauhaus School, Stern developed an unconventional approach to photography, including advertisement collages and studies with crystals, objects, and still-lifes. Between 1935 and 1981 Stern was an influential artistic presence in Argentina, known for her photographic work, graphic design, and teaching.  

Mollie Steimer

Mollie Steimer earned nationwide attention for her refusal to compromise her anarchist beliefs during the widely publicized 1918 trial in which she was sentenced to prison under the Sedition Act. Later deported to Russia and then to Germany, Steimer continued her anarchist activities throughout her life.

Marjorie Shostak

Despite a lack of formal training as an anthropologist, Marjorie Shostak wrote one of the most popular life histories in the field, Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman, in 1981. A recounting of interviews between Shostak and a woman she met in the Kalahari desert, Nisa has become a touchstone for feminist anthropological studies.

Alice Schalek

Alice Schalek first entered the public sphere at the turn of the century as the author of a well-received novel, published under the male pseudonym Paul Michaely. 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, Schalek paved the way for careers in both photography and journalism for other women.

Rachel Salamander

Rachel Salamander is a writer, scholar, editor, and publisher. Born in 1949 in a DP camp in Germany, she has written and published multiple works about German Jewry and DP camps after World War II. In 1982, Salamander established the Literaturhandlung in Munich, a prominent bookshop and meeting place specializing in Jewish literature.

Photography in Palestine and Israel: 1900-Present Day

Although women photographers long struggled for recognition and appreciation in Palestine and Israel, in recent years awareness of their roles and contributions to photograph has increased. The activity of women photographers who focus on gender issues has increased dramatically, while female curators and academics are gaining new perspectives on Jewish female photographers, re-evaluating their role in the development of photography in Israel.

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. D’Ora was the first woman accepted by the Association of Austrian photographers, and one of the first photographers to focus on modern dance and fashion. She paved the way for many Jewish female photographers to find success. 

Annie Leibovitz

For decades, Annie Leibovitz and her camera have exposed to the public eye subtleties of character that lay beneath the celebrity personae of rock stars, politicians, actors, and literary figures. As chief photographer for Rolling Stone magazine, she fueled the American fascination with rock ’n’ roll dissidents in the 1970s; in the 1980s and 1990s, she captured the essence of the day’s great cultural icons with her work for Vanity Fair.

Lotte Jacobi

After leaving Nazi Germany in 1935, Lotte Jacobi became a renowned photographer in New York as she captured intimate portraits of prominent Americans such as Robert Frost, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Paul Robeson. Jacobi was highly interested in politics and an active delegate to the Democratic National Convention. She was known for engaging her subjects in rich conversation as she photographed them.

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.

Gisèle Freund

Gisèle Freund was a European intellectual and writer, a sociologist, a historian of photography, a socialist, a Jew, and one of the world’s greatest photographers.From her photographs of a rally in Berlin to her insightful portraits of Evita Perón, Freund captured the early twentieth century. In 1991, she was the first photographer honored with a retrospective at the Musée National d’art Moderne.

Trude Fleischmann

Trude Fleischmann opened her studio at age 25, worked as a successful independent photographer through the Depression, and photographed some of the great artists, thinkers, and activists of her day, including Max Reinhardt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Albert Einstein. Fleischmann regarded photography as a craft rather than an art, an attitude which also helped open the field to women.

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 with new possibilities for independence and careers. Errell traveled the world throughout the 1930s taking photos and writing essays, but she was interrupted in the 1940s by the war.

Brazil, Contemporary

Brazil is home to the second largest Jewish community in South America. Jewish women played important roles in the absorption of Jewish immigrants from Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, and also made important contributions to Brazilian intellectual and artistic life.

Marianne Breslauer

Marianne Breslauer was known for her style of quiet, poetic street scenes of Paris and Berlin and her photographs of Palestine in 1931. Breslauer studied at the Lette-Verein, the first school for women photographers, and was awarded the Hann Höch Prize in Berlin in 1999.

Ilse Bing

 Ilse Bing was known as the “Queen of the Leica” for her work in photojournalism, fashion, and advertising with this new camera, fast film, and darkroom techniques of polarization and cropping. Her work was highly influential in France in the 1930s when many émigré artists were energized by the cross fertilization of disciplines that contributed to modern photography.

Aenne Biermann

In her short life, self-taught photographer Aenne Biermann made a profound impact on the arts as a major proponent of “new objectivity,” a rejection of romantic idealism in favor of practical engagement with the world. As a photographer, she explored nature, the quality of light, and precise structures. Her works were part of every major exhibition in Germany at the time.

Eva Besnyö

Photographer and photojournalist Eva Besnyö was born in Budapest in 1910. In the 1930s Besnyö moved to Berlin, where she quickly became successful with numerous exhibitions and commissions and spent time with politically engaged intellectuals and artists. Following the war, Besnyö was active in the Dolle-Mina feminist movement and was awarded the Dr. Erich Salomon Award for her life’s work.

Ellen Auerbach

The life of Ellen Auerbach was a constant journey of self-discovery. Auerbach was remarkable both for her avant-garde photography and for her innovative ringl+pit studio where she and fellow artist Grete Stern worked collaboratively. In addition to photography, Auerbach m,ade short films and worked as an educational therapist with learning-disabled children.

Artists: Israeli, 1970 to the Present

In the last few decades of the twentieth century, Israeli women artists grew in prominence with works incorporating both feminine and masculine elements and themes of sexuality, political conflict, and identity.

Artists: Contemporary Anglo

In Britain, both feminism and feminist art took considerably longer to emerge and make their mark than in the United States, but when they did, many Jewish women artists created profound artistic work. British Jewish women artists generally hold both Jewishness and gender as central to their artistic output. Their art reveals the diverse ways in which women perceive their Jewishness in contemporary Britain.

Eve Arnold

Eve Arnold was a groundbreaking photographer and writer,  known for photographing fashion in Harlem, the McCarthy hearings, the civil rights movement, and Marilyn Monroe, as well as life in China, England, and the Soviet Union. Arnold was the first American woman accepted into Magnum Photos and is credited with making a remarkable artistic contribution to twentieth-century photography.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox