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Professional Women Photographers Celebrate:



Pioneer Women in Photography




A panel discussion Thursday, March 1, 2007, from 6-9 pm, at Pratt Institute



Ruth Gruber, now 95 years old, had backstage access to Jewish history. She is accomplished in both life and photography--escorting war refugees from Europe to America; she detailed the plight of the Exodus 1947; she described the establishment of the State of Israel; and she documented the Stateıs ingathering of refugees from Europe, Iraq, Yemen, and Ethiopia. Emissary for Harold Ickes and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, friend to Eleanor Roosevelt and Golda Meier, Ruth found that her life and work are inextricably bound to the rescue and survival of the Jewish people. The current exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage consists of Gruberıs powerful photographs of her experiences in Displaced Persons camps in New York, Cyprus, and early Israel. Many of the photographs is the exhibition appear in Ruth Gruberıs forthcoming book, Witness, to be published in April 2007 by Schocken Books.

Rebecca Lepkoff, also in her nineties, has been photographing in New York City since the late 1930ıs.  She was associated with the Photo League, the legendary New York based group of photographers whose goal was dedicated to using photography to capture everyday life and promote social involvement. This Rebecca did, capturing the ethnic richness of life on the Lower East Side.  She continued to shoot the Lower East Side throughout the fifties, seventies and eighties, and she still prints her beautiful photographs today as well as creating ceramic art and wonderful quilts.  Rebeccaıs work can be seen at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in Soho, in the collections including the National Museum of Art in Washington, DC, the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of the City of New York, the Bank of America and the Consolidated Freightways, Inc. collection.

Nancy Rudolph, now in her eighties, began photographing her own children in the 1950ıs and shortly thereafter her first photographic essay, ³Hark, Hark, A Lark,² appeared in the New York Times Magazine. Years later, she photographed for the Black Lung Association of Pike County, and this work was exhibited the show titled ³Welcome to Kentucky,² at New York Universityıs Photo Center Gallery. At seventy-five she lived in a Banyan tree in the rain forest of Kerala, and her article ³Living It Up² about this adventure appeared in the March 28th, 1999 issue of The Times of India. Nancy returned to college at age sixty-five and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Anthropology, from the Union Institute and University, and this past October 2006 she received from them a Doctorate of Humane Letters. She became an Artist in Residence at the Harwood Museum in Taos, New Mexico in 2005.  Over the years Nancy Rudolph has had seventeen solo exhibits, has been included in three books, and has had many photo-essays published.

Erika Stone, also in her eighties, began her active professional career in the 1940ıs, and was also a member of the Photo League. Erika studied photography at the New School of Social Research and was a prize winner in the famous 1951 Life Magazine Contest for Young Photographers. Later she became a mother, and made a specialty of photographing children and families. Her work appears in magazines and textbooks used around the world.  Erika was among the twenty women photographers whose work was included in the anthology Women of Vision in 1982. She has published several books and is included in the collections of the Museum of the City of New York, the Chicago Fine Arts Museum, the Center of Creative Photography and many more. Erika and Rebecca are both included in Naomi Rosenblumıs 1994 book ³A History of Women Photographers.²


Location: Pratt Institute, 144 West 14th Street, 2nd floor conference room, New York, NY

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