La fin d'un monde. Lotte Jacobi's Portraits

 "My style is the style of the people I photograph"

Lotte Jacobi

I have just seen  the exhibition of Lotte Jacobi's portraits  at the Käthe Kollwitz museum in Cologne. Unfortunately it was last Sunday, just on the last day of the exhibition and it is now too late to view it. It was really moving to see her chronicle of 1920's Berlin with the rise of National-Socialism in the background. In this respect, a portrait particularly retained my attention, the photograph of actor Hans Otto, murdered by the Nazis, who disguised their crime as a suicide and forbade anyone to attend his funeral. The young photographer Lotte Jacobi documented the artistic and intellectual life of the time; she was very committed to dance and theater and to circles that the nazis called the red Berlin. They viewed Berlin as "the reddest city after Moscow" and wanted to stamp out any form of contemporary art, which they considered as socially disruptive and decadent. Lotte Jacobi was then considered as a great representant of Avant-garde photography and after her emigration to New York never recovered the level of fame she had reached in Germany before the war. 

Neumarkt 18-24
50 667 Köln

1 Lotte Jacobi, Lotte Lenya, Kurt Weil's wife,Berlin 1928,© Lotte Jacobi Collection, University of New Hampshire, USA  

2 Lotte Jacobi, Art Historian, Leo Katz© Lotte Jacobi Collection, University of New Hampshire, USA 
3 Lotte Jacobi, Actor Peter Lorre, 1930
 © Lotte Jacobi Collection, University of New Hampshire, USA 
  4 Lotte Jacobi, Actor Hans Otto arrested and killed by the Nazis  November, 24 1933  photo of photo
 5 Lotte Jacobi, Self-portrait with camera, 1929, © JüdischesMuseum Berlin
Later on, she commented this portrait by writing on it " What am I going to do now?"
Otto Steinert, Lotte Jacobi, 1976
7 Käthe Kollwitz Museum, Photo J'attends... 

Since 1981, The University of New Hampshire has held the copyright for the photographs and correspondence of Lotte Jacobi.

Do you remember Cabaret, Bob Fosse's film with Liza Minelli adapted from a short novel set in Weimar Germany, by Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin ?


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