Wall of Fame/September: Lotte Jacobi
Lotte Jacobi (1896-1990) was a fourth generation professional photographer in her family. She took over her father's Berlin studio in 1927 and shot portraits of celebrities for weeklies and newspapers. In 1935 the entire family had to emigrate, and she ended up in New York, where she continued to take portraits of well-known German immigrants and other cultural personalities.
Jacobi's early photographs form an important part of the modernist movement, even though she later avowed that the stylistic directions in Germany in the 1920s had never interested her. Unusual angles and cuttings, strong contrasts and emphasis on form are indicators of modernism. The experiments without a camera (called photogenics) that she carried out between 1946 and 1955 also show a clear interest in form. But she was additionally concerned with adapting photographic language of form to every individuality.
Photographs by Lotte Jacobi were purchased for the Preus museum collection in 1986. Those in the collection are individual images that represent several periods of her artistic work. The group with photograms and experiments with light are originals; most of the portraits are more recent copies made in the 1970s.