Lotte Jacobi

Datesborn Germany, 1896 - 1990
BornThorn, Germany
DiedConcord, New Hampshire, United States

"I was born to photography," Lotte Jacobi explained of her chosen medium. Indeed, her great-grandfather had met Jacques Louis Mandé Daguerre around 1840, purchasing equipment and a license to make daguerreotypes from Daguerre and returning to Germany, where he established a photographic business. Her grandfather, father, uncles, aunts, and sister were all photographers, too. Jacobi started her career at age twelve assisting her father in the darkroom, and she worked in the family studio primarily making portraits. In time she became one of the most successful portraitists in Berlin. Nearly all of her early work was lost when she emigrated to America in 1935.

Jacobi and her sister Ruth Jacobi Roth opened a studio in New York when they resettled that year. Jacobi's celebrated subjects included Alfred Stieglitz, Eleanor Roosevelt, and J. D. Salinger. In 1955, she moved to New Hampshire, where she continued to photograph until her death at age ninety-three.