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Werner Wolff

  • Given name:
    Werner
  • Last name:
    Wolff
  • Date of Birth:
    11-06-1911
  • Place of Birth:
    Mannheim (DE)
  • Date of Death:
    2002
  • Place of Death:
    New York City (US)
  • Profession:
    Photographer
  • Introduction:

    Werner Wolff was forced to leave Germany in 1936 due to his Jewish background and emigrated via Hamburg to New York, where he could follow his career as photographer and photojournalist.

    Word Count: 30

  • Signature Image:
    Lotte Jacobi, Werner Wolff, 1943, New York (© 2021. University of New Hampshire).
  • Content:

    Trained in photography in Mannheim, Werner Wolff found work as a lab technician in the darkroom at the photo agency PIX and enrolled in classes at the New York Institute for Photography. In 1938, he partnered with Walter Brockmann and other colleagues at PIX to open his own photo agency. Camera Features was located at 114 West 16th Street (later at 31 West 56th Street). In his autobiography, Werner Wolff wrote that the agency “was only moderately successful financially but gave [him] a start with some of the major magazines such as Life, Time, Mademoiselle” (Werner Wolff Archive, AG02.2009.0297:211a/b).

    Through Camera Features, a photo series on the voice training of Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt was published in Life magazine (13 March, 1939). Wolff's natural and informal photographs portray the First Lady during her lessons in the New York studio of her teacher Elisabeth von Hesse, who was employed at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn (Life, 13 March, 1939, pp. 6-9). Correspondence from the Werner Wolff archives shows that he photographed Roosevelt for Camera Features on several more occasions over the years.

    In the 13 March issue of Life, Wolff also appeared under the category of “Life’s Pictures”, which featured a different Life photographer in each issue. The featured portrait of Wolff was shot by the émigré photographer Otto F. Hess and shows Wolff handling a miniature camera. Germany played an important role in the development of the 35mm camera in the 1920s. The camera's small size and weight made it easy to carry around and use – a technical boon for photojournalists and amateur photographers alike. Also the émigré photographer Lotte Jacobi made a portrait of him.

    By 1944, Wolff was working as a correspondent for the US Army Signal Corps, where he was then hired as photographer and photography editor for Yank, the Army weekly magazine. While stationed in Italy, he documented for Yank the battles on the River Po and photographed Rome, Genoa, Bologna, Florence, Verona, Siena and Venice. With the defeat of Germany, Wolff was one of the first to photograph Hitler’s mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden. He also experienced the destructive consequences of war at a more personal level when his home town of Mannheim, where he was staying at the time, was reduced to ruins. His huge range of photographs and a collection of Yank magazines are today archived at the Ryerson Image Center.

    In 1943, Wolff was naturalised as a US citizen and in 1945 returned to New York from military service. In the same year, he moved with his wife Alice Eckstein (whom he married in 1941) to Bleecker Street, where he was to live for the rest of his life. He also embarked at the same time on his long career as a photojournalist with the Black Star Agency. Howard Chapnick, who was head of Black Star from 1963 to 1990, rated Werner Wolff as an excellent technical photographer who could adapt to all kind of assignments. In his book Truth Needs No Ally: Inside Photojournalism, Chapnick listed him among the twenty-nine photographers who had left a lasting mark on the agency and had been particularly valued as photojournalists. “His camera was a communicative tool that spoke directly to the viewer without nuance and ambiguity.” (Chapnick 1994, 161) Wolff's New York assignments ranged from reportages on the internment camp on Ellis Island (1949) to the placement of the television antenna on the Empire State Building (1946), for which he was hoisted in a bosuns’s chair to capture the spectacular views of the tower and the city below. For some of his reportage he personally authored the text and selected from his contact sheets the images he wanted used. In addition to his photojournalistic reportages, Wolff was also skilled at portraits and produced a series of photographs of politicians while accompanying Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy on overseas tours. Wolff was also responsible for one of the rare photographs of Kurt Safranski, one of the founders of Black Star, taken during a class at the New School for Social Research in the 1950s.

    After his death in 2002, Wolff's photographs passed into the care of his family, who donated them intact, along with archival material (contact sheets, negatives, photographs, publication information, correspondence, epherma) to the Ryerson Image Center, where the Black Star Photographic Collection is kept. The work of this eminent photojournalist can now be enjoyed by the general public.

    Word Count: 723

  • Media:
    “Speaking of Pictures. Mrs. Roosevelt Takes Voice Lessons.” Life, 13 March 1939, pp. 6–9 (Photo: Helene Roth).
    Agreement between Black Star and Werner Wolff, 1947 (The Family of Werner Wolff © Ryerson Image Center).
    Camera Features stamp (The Family of Werner Wolff © Ryerson Image Center).
    Contact sheets for reportage on Empire State Building by Werner Wolff, 1946 (The Family of Werner Wolff © Ryerson Image Center).
    Rear side of contact sheets for reportage on Empire State Building by Werner Wolff, 1946 (The Family of Werner Wolff © Ryerson Image Center).
    Text for reportage on Empire State Building, written by Werner Wolff, 1946 (The Family of Werner Wolff © Ryerson Image Center).
    List of images and description for reportage on Empire State Building, written by Werner Wolff, 1946 (The Family of Werner Wolff © Ryerson Image Center).
    “Daredevil at Work” reportage by Werner Wolff in Popular Photography, September 1946, p. 39 (Photo: Helene Roth).
    Werner Wolff, K.S. Safranski’s Class in Pictorial Journalism, 1950 (New School for Research Archive, Photograph Collection © Steven Wolff).
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Chapnick, Ben. Truth Needs No Ally. Inside Photojournalism. University of Missouri Press, 1994.  

    Goldsmith, Arthur. The photography Game. What is and how to play it. Viking Press, 1971.

    Manco, Sara L. Finding Wolff: Intellectually Arranging the Werner Wolff Fonds at the Ryerson Image Centre (master thesis, Ryerson Image Center, Toronto, 2012), Paper 1264.

    Ream, Tim. The Life Of Werner Wolff: An Analysis Of Werner Wolff’s Contributions To Life Magazine (master thesis). Ryerson University, Toronto, 2014.

    Schaber, Irme. “Fotografie.” Handbuch der deutschsprachigen Emigration 1933–1945, edited by Claus-Dieter Krohn and Patrick von zur Mühlen, WBG, 1998, pp. 970–983.

    Word Count: 90

  • Archives and Sources:

    Word Count: 9

  • Acknowledgements:

    My deepest thanks go to Steven Wolff for providing me with information on his father Werner Wolff as well as his permission to use the images.

    Word Count: 26

  • Author:
    Helene Roth
  • Exile:

    New York City, US (1936-1944); New York City, US (1945-2002).

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    397 Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village, New York City (residence, 1946–2002); 420 Lexington Avenue, Black Star Photo Agency, Midtown Manhattan, New York (workplace, 1943–2002).

  • Metropolis:
    New York
  • Helene Roth. "Werner Wolff." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2948/object/5138-7740541, last modified: 03-05-2022.
  • Kurt Safranski
    Picture AgentFounding MemberTeacherCartoonistPublisherIllustrator

    Kurt Safranski was one of the founding members of the Black Star photo agency, a teacher at the New School for Social Research and the author of photojournalistic articles and books.

    Word Count: 31

    Portrait of Kurt Safranski with his wife Maria and daughter Tina Safranski, photographer unknown, n.d. (© Heirs of Kurt Safranski).
    Cover of Selling Your Pictures by Kurt Safranski (Ziff Davis Publishing Company, 1940).Kurt Safranski “Backgrounds.” Minicam Photography, July 1945, pp. 52–53 (Photo: Helene Roth).Kurt Safranski. “Dr. Salomon.” Popular Photography, August 1948, pp. 56–57.Announcement of "Pictorial Journalism" course by Kurt Safranski in New School Bulletin, vol. 2, no. 9, 1944, p. 84 (© New School course catalog collection, NS-05-01-01. The New School Archives).Werner Wolff, K.S. Safranski’s Class in Pictorial Journalism, 1950 (New School for Research Archive, Photograph Collection © Steven Wolff).Announcement of "Pictorial Journalism. Photographs as a Language and their special Problems" course by Kurt Safranski at the New School for Social Research, Spring 1949 (© The New School Archives and Special Collection, The New School, New York).
    New York
    Andreas Feininger
    PhotographerWriterEditor

    Andreas Feininger, was a German émigré photographer who arrived in New York with his wife Wysse Feininger in 1939. He started a lifelong career exploring the city's streets, working as a photojournalist and writing a large number of photography manuals.

    Word Count: 39

    Portrait of Andreas Feininger by Fritz Henle, 1940/41, cropped detail (© Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: Andreas Feininger Archive, Photo: Helene Roth).
    Portrait of Andreas Feininger by Fritz Henle, 1940/41 (© Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: Andreas Feininger Archive, Photo: Helene Roth).Andreas Feininger, 1, Stockholm, 1937 (© Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: Andreas Feininger Archive, Photo: Helene Roth).Andreas Feininger, Close Up Equipment, 365 West 20 St. New York, 1940 (© Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: Andreas Feininger Archive, Photo: Helene Roth).Andreas Feininger, “An Amateur’s Wartime Darkroom.” U.S. Camera, April 1942, pp. 28–29 (Photo: Helene Roth).Scrapbook of Andreas Feininger with photographic essay “New York. A big spectacle in big pictures.” Life, 14 April 1941, pp. 86–87 (© Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: Andreas Feininger Archive, Photo: Helene Roth).Scrapbook of Andreas Feininger with article and photographs by him. “Experimenting with Lights at Night.” Popular Photography, February 1947, pp. 44–45 (© Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona: Andreas Feininger Archive, Photo: Helene Roth).“Feininger’s Workshop - photo facts in pictures. Unsharpness and its cause.” Popular Photography, May 1949, pp.54–55 (Photo: Helene Roth).
    New York
    Ruth Bernhard
    Photographer

    Ruth Bernhard was a German émigré photographer who lived in New York from the 1920s to the 1940s. Beside her series on female nudes, her place in the photography network, as well as in the New York queer scene, is unknown and understudied.

    Word Count: 43

    Lotte Jacobi, Ruth Bernhard, 1945, New York (© 2021. University of New Hampshire).
    Scrapbook and published work by Ruth Bernhard (Ruth Bernhard Archive, Special Collection Princeton University © Trustees of Princeton University).Lifesavers by Ruth Bernhard, published in Advertisment Arts, January 1931 (Ruth Bernhard Archive, Special Collection Princeton University © Trustees of Princeton University).Still Life of dolls for Macy’s by Ruth Bernhard, published in Graphic Arts, 1931 (Ruth Bernhard Archive, Special Collection Princeton University © Trustees of Princeton University).Ruth Bernhard, Eighth Street Movie Theater, Frederick Kiesler-Architect, New York, 1946 (Diversity Corner is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0).Exhibition flyer for Ruth Bernhard Photographs, PM Gallery, 1938 (Ruth Bernhard Archive, Special Collection Princeton University © Trustees of Princeton University).Description of Ruth Bernhard Photographs exhibition, by Kurt Safranski, PM Gallery, 1938 (Ruth Bernhard Archive, Special Collection Princeton University © Trustees of Princeton University).
    New York
    Erika Stone
    Photographer

    Erika Stone is a German émigré, who moved to New York with her parents and sister in December 1936, at the age of 12. She went on to carve out a career as photographer.

    Word Count: 32

    Portrait of Erika Stone, 1951 (© Erika Stone, Courtesy of Katarina Doerner Photographs, Brooklyn, NY).
    Letter in which Erika Stone (Klopfer) is honoured as photo contest winner for Life magazine, November 1926, 1951Erika Stone, Bowery Beauties, New York, 1946 ( © Erika Stone, Courtesy of Katarina Doerner Photographs, Brookly, NY).Erika Stone, Harlem Street Photographer, NYC, ca. 1950 ( "Lot 182: Erika Stone" by sfcamerawork is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).
    New York
    Lisette Model
    Photographer

    Lisette Model was an Austrian-born photographer who lived in New York with her husband Evsa Model after emigrating from France. Her street photographs capturing the curiosities of everyday life quickly caught the interest of museums and magazines.

    Word Count: 37

    Hermann Landshoff, Die Fotografin Lisette Model, New York 1948 (© bpk / Münchner Stadtmuseum, Sammlung Fotografie / Archiv Landshoff).
    Lisette Model at New School by Joe Covello, 1960s, New School for Research Archive, Photograph Collection, NS.04.01.01:16 (© The New School Archives and Special Collection, The New School, New York, NY).Announcement of "The Small Camera In Photography Today" course by Lisette Model. New School Bulletin. Art Classes, vol. 9, no. 2, September 1951, front cover and p. 34 (© New School course catalog collection, NS-05-01-01. The New School Archives).Lisette Model's naturalisation papers. New York, Southern District, U.S District Court Naturalization Records, 1824–1946. Petitions for naturalization and petition evidence 1944 box 942, no 490001-490300 > image 702 of 1406; citing NARA microfilm publication M1972 (Family Research. © Southern District of New York Petitions for Naturalization, 1897–1944. Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685–2009, RG 21. National Archives at New York).Page with photos of the apartments at 55 Grove Street and 137 7th Avenue, published in Le Pommeré, 2010, pp. 58–59 (Photo: Helene Roth).
    New York
    Fred Stein
    PhotographerLawyer

    Always accompanied by his camera, the German émigré photographer Fred Stein discovered New York City during the 1940s and 1950s. His pictures provide an human and multifaceted view of the metropolis.

    Word Count: 31

    Fred Stein, Self-portrait, 1941 (© Fred Stein Archive).
    Fred Stein, El at Water Street, 1946 (© Fred Stein Archive).Portrait Alvin Saunders Johnson by Fred Stein, New School for Research Archive, Photograph Collection (© Fred Stein Archive). Children Photographs exhibition by Fred Stein, April 1947 (© Fred Stein Archive).Affidavit in Lieu of Passport (© Fred Stein Archive).Fred Stein, Anette Kolb, New York, 1945 (© Fred Stein Archive).Fritz Neugass. “The saga of the S.S. Winnipeg.” Modern Photography, July 1951, pp. 72–73 (Photo: Helene Roth).Black Star contract by Fred Stein, April 1, 1944 (© Fred Stein Archive).New York 1949 calendar by Fred Stein, Lumen Publisher (© Fred Stein Archive).Mixed articles and reviews on 5th Avenue photobook form Fred Stein's scrapbook (© Fred Stein Archive).Portrait of Fritz H. Landshoff (of Querido Publishing House) by Fred Stein, 1944 (© Fred Stein Archive).Portrait of Kurt Wolff (of publishing house Pantheon Books) by Fred Stein, 1959 (© Fred Stein Archive).Announcement by Pantheon Books from Fred Stein’s scrapbook (© Fred Stein Archive).Rapho Guillumette agency letter to Fred Stein, 1944 (© Fred Stein Archive).Cover of 5th Avenue photobook (Pantheon Books, 1947) by Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).
    New York
    Charles Leirens
    PhotographerMusicianMusicologist

    Charles Leirens was a Belgian-born musician and photographer who emigrated to New York in 1941. While publishing two books on Belgian music, he also gave courses in musicology and photography at the New School for Social Research.

    Word Count: 36

    Announcement for “Photography with the Miniature Camera” course by Charles Leirens. New School Bulletin. Art Classes 1951/1952, vol. 9, no. 2, p. 33 (© New School course catalog collection, NS-05-01-01. The New School Archives).
    Fritz Neugass. “The saga of the S.S. Winnipeg.” Modern Photography, July 1951, pp. 72–73 (Photo: Helene Roth).Cover of photobook 20 Portraits d’artistes by Charles Leirens (Editions de la Connaissance, 1936).Announcement for the Photographic Portraits of Prominent Europeans by Charles Leirens exhibition at the Bignou Gallery, published in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 10 October 1943, p. 16.Article on Photographic Portraits of Prominent Europeans by Charles Leirens exhibition at the Bignou Gallery, published in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 17 October 1943, p. 32.Announcement for “Portraiture with the Miniature Camera” course by Charles Leirens.New School Bulletin. Art Classes 1947/1948, vol. 5, no. 2, p. 29 (© New School course catalog collection, NS-05-01-01. The New School Archives).Flyer for Morocco by Charles Leirens exhibition at the New School for Social Research from 27 January to 18 February, 1949 (© New School Publicity Office Records. The New School Archives and Special Collections).
    New York
    Rolf Tietgens
    PhotographerEditorWriter

    Rolf Tietgens was a German émigré photographer who arrived in New York in 1938. Although, in the course of his photographic career, his artistic and surrealist images were published and shown at exhibitions, his work, today, is very little known.

    Word Count: 39

    Portrait of Rolf Tietgens, n.d. (© Keith de Lellis Gallery, New York).
    Der Hafen by Rolf Tietgens, Ehrmann Verlag, 1936.Rolf Tietgens. “What is Surrealism?” Minicam, July 1939, pp. 30–31 (Photo: Helene Roth).Photo by Rolf Tietgens of Streamliners at the World’s Fair published in the World's Fair special issue of U.S. Camera, August 1939, p. 45 (Photo: Helene Roth).Photo by Rolf Tietgens of the Communication Mall at the World’s Fair 1939 published in the World's Fair special issue of U.S. Camera, August 1939, p. 38 (Photo: Helene Roth).Rolf Tietgens. “Capture the ‘Life’ of the object.” Minicam, January 1940, pp. 46–47 (Photo: Helene Roth).Rolf Tietgens. “Capture the ‘Life’ of the object.” Minicam, January 1940, pp. 48–49 (Photo: Helene Roth).Felix Kraus. "Why Photographers experiment." Popular Photography, February 1945, pp. 28–29 (Photo: Helene Roth).Hans Arp. Human Concretion, 1935, limestone 73 x 49,5 x 45 cm, photograph by Rolf Tietgens and reproduced in Arp: On My Way. Poetry and Essays 1912–1947, edited by Robert Motherwell, Wittenborn, Schulz, 1948, pp. 130–131 (Photo: Helene Roth).Published photo by Rolf Tietgens (Feininger 1952, 116–117).Times Square. U.S.A. (1952) photobook by Rolf Tietgens, Keith de Lellis Gallery, 1992 (Photo: Helene Roth).
    New York
    Lotte Jacobi
    Photographer

    In October 1935 the German émigré photographer Lotte Jacobi, together with her sister Ruth Jacobi, opened a photo studio on 57th Street. The two sisters had to leave their parents' photo studio in Berlin in the 1930s and emigrated to New York.

    Word Count: 41

    Lotte Jacobi, Self-portrait, New York, 1937 (© 2020. University of New Hampshire).
    Lotte Jacobi, Central Park, New York, 1936 (© 2020. University of New Hampshire).Lotte Jacobi, New York Stock Exchange, New York, 1938 (© 2020. University of New Hampshire).Lotte Jacobi, Ernst Fuhrmann, New York, 1942 (© 2021. University of New Hampshire).Lotte Jacobi, Hanya Holm dancing with troup, 1937 (© 2020. University of New Hampshire).Flyer for Lotte Jacobi’s exhibition at the Norlyst Gallery, 1948 (© 2020. University of New Hampshire).Willi Wolfradt. "Lichtbild-Schöpfungen." Aufbau, 15 October 1948, p. 19.Lotte Jacobi, Werner Wolff, 1943, New York (© 2021. University of New Hampshire).Lotte Jacobi, Ruth Bernhard, 1945, New York (© 2021. University of New Hampshire).
    New York
    Tim Gidal
    PhotographerPublisherArt Historian

    Tim Gidal was a German-Jewish photographer, publisher and art historian emigrating in 1948 emigrated to New York. Besides his teaching career, he worked as a photojournalist and, along with his wife Sonia Gidal, published youth books.

    Word Count: 35

    Portrait of Tim Gidal, n.d. (© Tim Gidal Archiv. Steinheim Institut. Photo: Horst Hahn).
    Cover of My village in Austria by Sonia and Tim Gidal (Pantheon, 1956).Plan of the village printed in My village in Austria by Sonia and Tim Gidal (Pantheon, 1956).Title page of My Village in India by Sonia and Tim Gidal (Pantheon, 1956).Announcement for “The New Grand Tour” course by Tim Gidal. New School Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 18, Spring 1956, p. 30 (© New School course catalog collection, NS-05-01-01. The New School Archives).Announcement for “Picture Reporting Through The Ages” course by Tim Gidal. New School Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 18, Spring 1956, p. 49 (© New School course catalog collection, NS-05-01-01. The New School Archives).Letter from Tim Gidal to Clara W. Mayer, 1957/58 ( © Clara Mayer Papers. Gidal, Nahum T., 1957-1958, Box: 4, Folder: 27. The New School Archives, Photo: Helene Roth).
    New York
    Ruth Jacobi
    Photographer

    Ruth Jacobi was a German-speaking, Polish-born photographer who emigrated in 1935 to New York, where she opened a studio together with her sister Lotte Jacobi. She later had her own portrait studio.

    Word Count: 31

    Lotte Jacobi, Ruth Jacobi mit Brille, c. 1935, New York (© 2021. University of New Hampshire).
    Lotte Jacobi, Ruth Jacobi, c. 1935, New York (© 2021. University of New Hampshire).A Study in Doll Heads by Ruth Jacobi-Roth published in "Salon Section. Four Of A Kind." Popular Photography, December 1937, p. 48 (Photo: Helene Roth).Sisters by Ruth Jacobi-Roth for the "Salon Section. Twins." Popular Photography, February 1938, pp. 46–47 (Photo: Helene Roth).Ruth Jacobi-Roth, Grapes, published in the “Picture of the Months” section of Popular Photography, March 1938, p. 42 (Photo: Helene Roth).Ruth Jacobi-Roth, Doll, published in "Salon Section." Popular Photography, March 1938, p. 53 (Photo: Helene Roth).Montage of three pelicans by Ruth Jacobi-Roth published in "Salon Section 1-2-3." Popular Photography, March 1939, p. 47 (Photo: Helene Roth).Head by Ruth Jacobi-Roth published in Maloney 1940, p. 138 (Photo: Helene Roth).Hafen-Romantik und Wolkenkratzer (image by Jacobi, Berlin) and Schönheit der Wolkenkratzer (image by E.O. Hoppé, Mauritius) in New York, published in Leitich 1932, pp. 14–15 (Archive Helene Roth).Das arme New York (image by Jacobi, Berlin); Trödelladen im Italienerviertel (image by Scherl) New York, published in Leitich 1932, pp. 56–57 (Archive Helene Roth).Medical Center, die größte Klinik der Welt (am oberen Hudson) (image by Presse-Photo, Berlin); Tausendäugige Häuserfront (image by Jacobi, Berlin), New York, published in Leitich 1932, pp. 48–49 (Archive Helene Roth).Ruhepause bei den Grabsteinen der Trinity Church (image by Scherl); Auch ein Platz für Mittagsruhe (image by Jacobi, Berlin); Orangedrink nach heißer Bahnhfahrt (image by Ewing Galloway, N.Y); Ein Fünfcentstück öffnet die Drehtür zur Untergrundbahn (image by Ewing Galloway, N.Y), published in Leitich 1932, pp. 16–17 (Archive Helene Roth).
    New York
    Fritz Henle
    Photographer

    Fritz Henle was a German Jewish photographer who emigrated in 1936 to New York, where he worked as a photojournalist for various magazines. He also published several photobooks of his travels throughout North America and Asia.

    Word Count: 35

    Portrait of Fritz Henle by Herbert Matter, New York, 1937 (© Estate Fritz Henle).
    Fritz Henle, New York at Night, New York, 1936–1950s' (© 2021. Fritz Henle Estate).Fritz Henle, New York Reflections, New York, 1936–1950s' (© 2021. Fritz Henle Estate).Fritz Henle, The L Train on Wall Street, New York, 1936–1950s' (© 2021. Fritz Henle Estate).Fritz Henle, Brooklyn Bridge and Baby Carriage, New York, 1936's-1950 (© 2021.Fritz Henle Estate)Fritz Henle, New York Skaters from the RCA Building, New York, 1936–1950s' (© 2021. Fritz Henle Estate).Fritz Henle, New York Art Critic at Washington Square, New York, 1936–1950s' (© 2021. Fritz Henle Estate).“The American Legion takes New York City.” Life, 4 October 1937, pp. 24f.Photographs by Fritz Henle for the reportage “Memo to: Walter Wander, Subject: 52nd Street.” Life, 29 November 1937, pp. 64–67 (Photo: Helene Roth).Cover of Paris photobook by Fritz Henle (Ziff Davis, 1947).“Men who love Paris. Fritz Henle and Elliot Paul combine pictures and text in a handsome book about their favorite city.” Popular Photography, January 1947, pp. 60–61.Norris Harkness. "Simplicity. Fritz Henle’s fashion shots prove that the easy way is often the most effective." Popular Photography, August 1944, pp. 36–37.Victor Kepler. “There’s adventure in night photography.” Popular Photography, August 1942, pp. 28–29.Cover of Fritz Henle’s rollei (Hastings House, 1950).Cover photo by Fritz Henle, Life, 30 July 1939.
    New York
    Kurt Kornfeld
    PublisherPicture AgentFounding Member

    Kurt Kornfeld was a publisher and literary agent and a founding member of the Black Star photo agency in New York City after his emigration in 1936 to New York.

    Word Count: 29

    Portrait of Kurt Kornfeld, 2 May 1938, New York (© Heirs of Kurt Kornfeld).
    Visitenkarte von Kurt A. Kornfeld, Black Star, Strand Palace Hotel, London an Erich Salomon, n.d (Erich Salomon Archiv, © Sammlung Berlinische Galerie, Erworben durch das Land Berlin aus Mitteln des Bundesministeriums des Innern, Bonn, 1980, Repro: Anja Elisabeth Witte).
    New York
    Ernest Mayer
    Picture AgentFounding MemberPublisher

    Ernest Mayer was co-founder of the Black Star Publishing Company photo agency, which built a network for émigré photographers and the American magazine scene from the mid-1930s until the end of the 1950s.

    Word Count: 34

    Portrait of Ernest Mayer at the Black Star Office, December 1936, New York (© Heirs of Kurt Kornfeld).
    Signature by Ernest Mayer in a letter to Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).Walt Sanders and Alfred Kornfeld, son of Black Star cofounder Kurt Kornfeld. Sheldrake Lake, New Rochelle, NY, November 1939 (© Heirs of Kurt Kornfeld).
    New York
    Trude Fleischmann
    Photographer

    Trude Fleischmann was an Austrian-Jewish portrait and dance photographer who emigrated in 1939 to New York, where she opened a studio in Midtown Manhattan with the photographer Frank Elmer.

    Word Count: 28

    Portrait of Trude Fleischmann by Annie Schulz published in Die Bühne, vol. 265, January 1931, p. 15 (Photo: Helene Roth).
    Declaration of intention of Trude Fleischmann, April 1939. New York, Southern District, U.S District Court Naturalization Records, 1824–1946, Petitions for naturalization and petition evidence 1944 box 927, no 485551-485750 (© Southern District of New York Petitions for Naturalization, 1897-1944. Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685–2009, RG 21. National Archives at New York).Trude Fleischmann, Adriadic Wash Line, before 1939 published in U.S. Camera 1940, p. 131 (Photo: Helene Roth).Trude Fleischmann, Arthur Toscanini und Robert Haas, 1946, New York (© Wien Museum / Foto Birgit und Peter Kainz).Trude Fleischmann, Robert Haas bei der Arbeit in New York City, 1940s/1950s (© Wien Museum / Foto Birgit und Peter Kainz).Trude Fleischmann, Group portrait behind the scene of “Players from Abroad”, New York, 1947/48 (© Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Deutsches Exilarchiv 1933-1945, Frankfurt am Main).Announcement of an exhibition by Trude Fleischmann at the New School for Social Research published in New School Bulletin, no. 13, 13 April 1943 (© New School course catalog collection, NS-03-01-02. The New School Archives).Trude Fleischmann, Portrait of Gert von Gontard, Elisabeth Bergner and Felix Gerstmann for the performance Iphigenie auf Tauris,New York, 1947/48 (© Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Deutsches Exilarchiv 1933-1945, Frankfurt am Main).
    New York
    Black Star Agency
    Photo Agency

    The German émigrés Kurt S(z)afranski, Ern(e)st Mayer and Kurt Kornfeld founded Black Star in 1936. The photo agency established was a well-run networking institution in New York.

    Word Count: 31

    Letterhead of Black Star (Black Star Archive. Ryerson Image Center, Photo: Helene Roth).
    Logo and Stamp of Black Star Photo Agency (Photo: Helene Roth, 2019).Description of Black Star in a photographic guide (Ahlers, Arvel W.. Where & how to sell your pictures. Photography Publishing Corp., 1953, p. 45).Werner Wolff, K.S. Safranski’s Class in Pictorial Journalism, 1950 (New School for Research Archive, Photograph Collection © Steven Wolff).Facade and entrance of the Graybar Building on Lexington Avenue (Photo: Helene Roth, 2018).Cover of Selling Your Pictures by Kurt Safranski (Ziff Davis Publishing Company, 1940).Black Star contract by Fred Stein, April 1, 1944 (© Fred Stein Archive).Announcement of "Pictorial Journalism. Photographs as a Language and their special Problems" course by Kurt Safranski at the New School for Social Research, Spring 1949 (© The New School Archives and Special Collection, The New School, New York).Letterhead with the logo and address of Black Star (© Fred Stein Archive).
    New York
    PIX Publishing Inc.
    Photo Agency

    PIX Publishing Inc. was a photo agency founded in New York in 1935 by photo agent Leon Daniel and Celia Kutschuk, together with German émigré photographers Alfred Eisenstaedt and George Karger.

    Word Count: 30

    Letterhead of PIX Inc. – Correspondence Daniel Leon with Fred Stein, 1943, cropped detail (© Fred Stein Archive).
    Letterhead of PIX Inc. – Correspondence Daniel Leon with Fred Stein, 1943 (© Fred Stein Archive).Mention of PIX Publishing in a photographic guide (Ahlers 1953, p. 46).
    New York
    New School for Social Research
    Academy/Art SchoolPhoto SchoolUniversity / Higher Education Institute / Research Institute

    During the 1940s and 1950s emigrated graphic designers and photographers, along with artists and intellectuals, were given the opportunity to held lectures and workshops at the New School for Social Research.

    Word Count: 31

    Werner Wolff, K.S. Safranski’s Class in Pictorial Journalism, 1950 (New School for Research Archive, Photograph Collection © Steven Wolff).
    Announcement of "Art Applied to Graphic Journalism, Advertising, Design, Fashion" course by Alexey Brodovitch, published in New School Bulletin. Art Classes, 1942/43, p. 11 (© New School course catalog collection, NS-05-01-01. The New School Archives).Announcement of "Pictorial Journalism" course by Kurt Safranski in New School Bulletin, vol. 2, no. 9, 1944, p. 84 (© New School course catalog collection, NS-05-01-01. The New School Archives).Announcement of "The Small Camera In Photography Today" course by Lisette Model. New School Bulletin. Art Classes, vol. 9, no. 2, September 1951, front cover and p. 34 (© New School course catalog collection, NS-05-01-01. The New School Archives).Lisette Model at New School by Joe Covello, 1960s, New School for Research Archive, Photograph Collection, NS.04.01.01:16 (© The New School Archives and Special Collection, The New School, New York, NY).Portrait Alvin Saunders Johnson by Fred Stein, New School for Research Archive, Photograph Collection (© Fred Stein Archive).Flyer of “New Architecture and City Planning” symposium by Paul Zucker (© The New School Archives and Special Collection, The New School, New York, NY).
    New York
    Camera Features
    Photo Agency

    Camera Features was a photo agency founded by the photographer Werner Wolff and other colleagues of the photo agency PIX.

    Word Count: 20

    Camera Features stamp (The Family of Werner Wolff © Ryerson Image Center).
    New York
    Spiratone
    Photo Supplier

    Spiratone was a photo company and photo supplier founded in 1941 by the Austrian émigré family Hans (1888–1944) and Paula Spira (?–?) and their son Fred Spira (1924–2007).

    Word Count: 24

    Logo and address of Spiratone in Popular Photography, June 1947, p. 104.
    Advertisement in Minicam, vol. 5, no. 1, September 1941 p. 73; 84; 100Advertisement for Spiratone in Popular Photography, October 1949, p. 5.
    New York