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Focus on the Soul: The Photographs of Lotte Jacobi

February 6, 2004 - April 11, 2004

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Over ninety vintage prints by the German-American photographer Lotte Jacobi (born in West Prussia in 1896; died in United States in 1990) will showcase her contribution to the history of photography. Jacobi learned the principals of photography from her father, and, in 1927, took over the family portrait studio in Berlin. Photography was a profession relatively open to women during the Weimar era.

Jacobi's vivid portraits filled the pages of the illustrated press, promoting the new cult of celebrities. Among her subjects are some of the most remarkable figures in German and American art and culture including Albert Einstein, Marc Chagall, Peter Lorre, Lotte Lenya and Robert Frost whose portraits will be included in this exhibition.

After 1933 Jacobi concealed her Jewish identity by working under various pseudonyms and in 1935 she immigrated to New York City, opening a studio on Central Park West. Later she moved to New Hampshire where she continued to photograph noted subjects and to develop her extraordinary oeuvre that poetically documents the nuances of the human condition.


Lotte Jacobi (American, b. West Prussia, 1896-1990)
Lotte Lenya, 1928
Gelatin-silver print
Collection of Dr. Steven Schuyler
© Lotte Jacobi Archives, University of New Hampshire

This exhibition has been organized by the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire and was sponsored by Bank of New Hampshire, a division of Banknorth, N.A.; Ernst & Young; and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.

The Jewish Museum's presentation is supported by The Morris S. and Florence H. Bender Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Alfred J. Grunebaum Memorial Fund.

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The Jewish Museum - 5th Avenue
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
New York NY 10128

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Lotte Jacobi (American, b. West Prussia, 1896-1990)