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Some of the most important and earliest photographers working in Eastern Europe were Jewish.
It is not surprising that many Jews entered into this new field of art. There were no art schools, juries, state laws, or other forms of authority to deny them entry. This allowed Jews and other marginalized groups who had been denied access to more traditional forms of art, to enter freely into photography.
Invented in Western Europe in 1839, the new technology of photography soon spread to Eastern Europe and Russia. Beginning in the 1840s, East European Jews were leading figures in developing photography as a new art form, a tool of documentation, and a medium of social criticism. Although initially an expensive and rarified technology, photography became less costly, easier, and therefore more popular at the end of the nineteenth century. Jews rushed into this new burgeoning field and became some of the most well-known photographers in the world, covering everything from Jewish life to war to aesthetics of daily life.
Rapoport, better known by his pen name S. Ansky, was an activist, memoirist and folklorist. In 1911, Ansky organized an extraordinary four-year ethnographic trek, meticulously documenting Galcianer Jewish life on the eve of the Russian Revolution through his camera.
Kacyzne was a Jewish writer, poet and photographer. He was one of the most significant contributors to Jewish-Polish cultural life in the first half of the 20th century. Among other things, he is particularly known as a photographer whose work immortalized Jewish life in Poland in the 1920s and 1930s.
A photographer best known for capturing on film the culture of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe just before the Holocaust. His book A Vanished World, first published in 1947, barely registered with the public. But its republication by the International Center for Photography in 1983 and accompanying photo exhibit led to his name’s becoming synonymous with the last remnants of shtetl culture in the 1930s captured on film.
Strom is an ethnographer who has focused on researching and documenting Jewish life in Eastern Europe, Balkans and Iberia since 1981. Strom dropped out of law school to begin his ethnographic trek. One of his main foci has been Jewish culture in the former East Bloc. His work resulted in the first book published (1987) of black and white photos of Jewish life in Eastern Europe since Vishniac’s book published in 1947. Since that initial trip Strom has used his research findings in his creative pursuits.
Class will take place weekly on Tuesdays from 1-2 pm EST from October 20-November 17.
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Yale Strom is also one of the world's leading ethnographer-artists of klezmer and Roma music and history. He has conducted extensive ethnographic research throughout Eastern Europe and the Balkans since 1981. He has made nine documentary films, written thirteen books, has had numerous photo-exhibitions throughout the world and with his band Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi he has made fifteen recordings. They run the gamut from traditional klezmer to "new" Jewish jazz. He has also composed for theatre, film, radio, television, symphony orchestras and various artists such as Rachel ...
Yale Strom is also one of the world's leading ethnographer-artists of klezmer and Roma music and history. He has conducted extensive ethnographic research throughout Eastern Europe and the Balkans since 1981. He has made nine documentary films, written thirteen books, has had numerous photo-exhibitions throughout the world and with his band Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi he has made fifteen recordings. They run the gamut from traditional klezmer to "new" Jewish jazz. He has also composed for theatre, film, radio, television, symphony orchestras and various artists such as Rachel Barton Pine, Sara Caswell and many others. His latest documentary film is American Socialist: The Life and Times of Eugene Victor Debs and newest recording is Yale Strom's Broken Consort: Shimmering Lights. He is currently artist-in-residence/professor in the Jewish Studies Program at San Diego State University. Prior to this Strom taught at New York University, where he created a course in ethnography and art that is taught to this day. www.yalestrom.com
Yale Strom: From Rajisthan to the World, the History and Culture of the Roma
Yale Strom: Jewish Life in Black & White: Through the Historical Lens
The Great Thinkers