Lotte Jacobi


At the age of twelve Lotte Jacobi (German, 1896–1990) took her first photograph with a pinhole camera. She studied art history and literature at the Academy of Posen from 1912 to 1917 before turning to photography professionally, like her father, grandfather, and great-grandfather (who had studied with Daguerre) did before her. She attended the Bavarian State Academy of Photography and the University of Munich between 1925 and 1927, when she entered the family photography business. From 1927 onwards she managed her father's studio in Berlin. In 1935, Jacobi was forced to leave Nazi-Germany and most of her early work was lost due to the circumstances of her emigration. Arriving in New York City in September 1935, together with her sister she opened a studio, which she maintained until 1955. Her first solo exhibition in the US was held in 1937, and her portraits were included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1942, entitled Twentieth Century Portraits. After closing the New York studio in 1955, Jacobi moved to New Hampshire, where she maintained a studio and gallery from 1963 for 1970.