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Katherine Joseph: Photographing an Era of Social Significance
by Suzanne Hertzberg, ISBN 978-0-692-70118-8 $25

Hertzburg_cover_final-1When Katherine Joseph died in 1990, her daughter discovered a trove of memorabilia from her mother’s life as a Roosevelt-era photographer for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU). Ms. Joseph’s photographs celebrate the golden age of organized labor, from her iconic image of the ILGWU’s Pins and Needles White House performance to her sensitive portraits of men and women at work. Her images from a 1941 journey to Mexico reveal a nation caught in the high-stakes political crossfire between the superpowers of the day. She photographed marketplaces, artists’ colonies, and Acapulco’s posh set as well as a secret gold mine, a historic labor convention, American movie stars on a “Goodwill Fiesta” tour, and a devastating earthquake. Returning to New York, Ms. Joseph documented labor’s home front efforts and the historic 1944 Democratic Convention that put Harry Truman on the ballot. Hertzberg’s book tells a remarkable story that preserves a legacy of historical, artistic, and feminist significance.

Katherine Joseph’s work exhibited at Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, June 30-September 25.

Review of Katherine Joseph: Photographing an Era of Social Significance in the Palisades News.

“This is more than a daughter’s poignant remembrance of her mother, a rebel girl of the ‘30s, it’s the story of immigrants’ kids surviving the Great Depression and finding triumph in rank-and-file labor unions.”  —Studs Terkel, Pulitzer Prize-winning author