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Lotte Jacobi Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 27 Sep 2017

Biographical History

Johanna Alexandra "Lotte" Jacobi (1886-1990) was a German-American photographer. Born in Prussia, she studied in Poland and Germany and began photographing professionally in the mid 1920s. She left Germany in 1935 for the United States, where she remained for the rest of her life. She was known for her portraits as well as her "photogenics," a technique that involved creating pictures without the use of a camera by exposing photosensitive paper to light, shadow, objects, etc. Her primary archives, including some 47,000 negatives, are held at the University of New Hampshire.

She was friends with Joseph and Vera Gropper, the son and daughter-in-law of artist William Gropper, and corresponded with them and their children over many years.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Lotte Jacobi Collection, accumulated by the Gropper family, consists of correspondence, photographs, and printed material.

Correspondence contains letters from Jacobi to Joseph and Vera Gropper and their family.

Photographs consists almost entirely of postcards printed with photographs by Jacobi, including her iconic photograph of Albert Einstein. Most are portraits, but there are also a few examples of her photogenics. There are also three photographs of Jacobi herself, and a picture of German expressionist painter Max Pechstein and his wife, in his studio.

Printed material contains books, clippings (including obituaries), and exhibit catalogs.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Photo postcards are arranged in the order received, to match the accompanying list of titles. Printed material is arranged alphabetically by type or title.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

The Lotti Jacobi Papers, consisting of 72 boxes and some 47,000 negatives, are held by the University of New Hampshire.

Subject Headings


Beckers, Marion, Lotte Jacobi: Berlin-New York.
Gropper, Joseph.
Gropper, Vera.
Jacobi, Lotte, 1896-1990.

Associated Titles

Atelier Lotte Jacobi: Berlin-New York.


Photography, Artistic.
Portrait photography.
Women photographers.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Photographic postcards.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Lotte Jacobi Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Dawna (Gropper) Snyder

Table of Contents



Printed material