This exhibition presents street photography, portraits, and experimental work by émigré photographers Lotte Jacobi (1896–1990) and Lisette Model (1901–1983), created while they each lived in Berlin, Paris, and New York from the 1930s to 1950s. Jacobi was an ambitious innovator, expanding her work from refined portraiture of cultural elites to experimental abstract images. Model’s iconic street photographs depict extreme disparities in society, enabled by her incisive eye and use of dramatic cropping to monumentalize urban dwellers. Both Jacobi and Model relied on an intuitive approach to create powerful yet quotidian images of people, whether in the studio or on the street. Presented in adjacent galleries, their work exemplifies the breadth of the revitalization of portraiture and innovations in photographic techniques in the early- to mid-twentieth century.
The exhibition is organized by Helen Lewandowski, Koch Curatorial Fellow
Urban Camera is dedicated to the memory of Catherine S. England, beloved deCordova trustee, philanthropist, and friend. It has been generously funded by an anonymous donor.