Wild oats. 1942. Vintage gelatin silver print. 18 x 23,8 cm. Annotated/dated by the photographer in pencil and estate stamp on the verso.
Lou Levi was born 1897 in Cologne where she grew up with her two sisters Stefani and Bella. At the age of 26, in 1923, Lou married the lawyer Georg Landauer (1895-1954). After her marriage and training at the Trade Academy in Cologne in 1924, Lou Landauer developed an interest in photography and registered at the Staatliche Fotoschule München where her name is in the student list of 1928/29. In 1930, she moved to Berlin, where she continued her photography studies, possibly at the Lette-Verein. The magazine Life in Palastine, Nr. 22, 1946 refers to Lou Landauer as “...a former student of famous schools in Munich and Berlin”. In 1934 she and her husband emigrated together with her parents to Palastine. As of 1933 her husband Georg was the director of the German department of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and director of the Central Bureau for the Settlement of German Jews.
Lou Landauer first worked as a press photographer for the Jüdische Rundschau, which was still published in Berlin. The magazine published her photographs of the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone (March 19, 1935) of the new AHAWA building in Kirjat Bialik near Haifa. In 1942 she began her work as a teacher at the Bezalel Hechadasch, the new Applied Arts School in Jerusalem. The former Applied Arts School existed between 1906 - 1928 and was later newly founded with the help of the Mandats administration and the Jewish Agency. In the 1940s Lou Landauer taught courses in the department of artistic photography and she is referred to as “Instructor of Photography at Bezalel” (Life in Palestine, 22, 1946). Among the directors of the new school were Hermann Struck and Erich Mendelsohn.
Here she most likely met the photographer Helmar Lerski who had his own photography school in Tel Aviv. In 1945 H. Lerski showed his portraits at Bezalel and in December of the same year Lou Landauer also exhibited there, showing a cross section of her work for the first time, including photograms, nature studies, portraits (double exposures) and still lifes. In 1949, Landauer went to the USA to attempt a new start. There she worked as a commercial photographer for various magazines and experimented with the technically complicated color carbro process. By the 1950s, she appears to have given up professional photography all together and worked as an assistant librarian at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York.
This and the following images (except lot 4259) were made during Landauer's time when she was an instructor of Photography at the New Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts, Jerusalem. – Corners slightly bumped, some handling marks, light crease marks in upper portion, slight oxidation mirroring in edges, otherwise in very good condition.
Provenance: From the estate of Lou Landauer.
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