Lotte Jacobi

As a representative of Neues Sehen (New Vision) in the 1920s, the photographer Lotte Jacobi (1896–1990) is best known for her portraits. Born in Thorn in Western Prussia (now Toruń/Poland), she moved to Berlin in 1920. Her parents opened a conventional portrait studio at no. 5, Joachimsthalerstrasse in the heart of the city’s new West End, home to many avant-garde artists and performers.

In 1927, after studying photography and film for two years at the Staatliche Höhere Fachschule für Phototechnik in Munich, Lotte Jacobi took over the family-run studio in Berlin. Here she took photographs of celebrities from the world of dance, theatre, literature, fine art, science and politics, including Klaus and Erika Mann, Käthe Kollwitz, Kurt Weill and Albert Einstein. In 1935 she fled Nazi Germany on account of her Jewish status but continued taking portraits in New York, many of them featuring American and émigré intellectuals and artists.

In 1997 Das Verborgene Museum put on a retrospective devoted to the artist at its exhibition space on Schlüterstrasse.

Find out more about the artist on the website (archive) of Das Verborgene Museum