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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

More on the Photographic Adventures of Katherine Joseph

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) president David Dubinsky with cast members of the ILGWU revue "Pins and Needles." Left to right: Ruth Rubenstein, Rose Newmark, Lynn Jaffe, Millie Weitz, Ann Brown, and Nettie Harari at the White House, March 3, 1938. Photograph by Katherine Joseph, © Richard Hertzberg and Suzanne Hertzberg. Katherine Joseph Papers, Archives Center, NMAH.
This is an update to the September blog by Richard Hertzberg and myself, “Every Minute Counts,” about documentary photographer Katherine Joseph. The biographical information in that blog, as well as in the Archives Center’s finding aid and catalog entry, was derived from Katherine Joseph’s daughter Suzanne Hertzberg's 2002 master’s thesis for the University of Southern California, “Photo by Katherine Joseph.”

Ms. Hertzberg then transformed her thesis into a book for publication--a handsome biography of this little-known, talented photographer, entitled Katherine Joseph: Photographing an Era of Social Significance (Bergamot Books, 2016). Illustrated with many of her mother’s photographs, it places Katherine Joseph’s career firmly in the tradition of 1930s-1940s documentary photography, as well as in the context of American women’s history. As such, it is far more than an affectionate memoir. Since Katherine Joseph told her children so little about her photographic career, Suzanne Hertzberg had few specific personal memories to relate, and had to pursue extensive research on her elusive subject.

The collection was donated to the Archives Center in 2007 by Suzanne and Richard Hertzberg.

David Haberstich,
Archives Center, National Museum of American History

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