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Lotte Jacobi Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Gropper family.
Title: Lotte Jacobi Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1930-1990
Bulk Dates: 1967-1969
Quantity: 0.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Correspondence, clippings, photographs
Language: One exhibit catalog in German, the rest is in English.
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Johanna Alexandra "Lotte" Jacobi (1886-1990) was a German-American photographer. Born in Prussia, she studied in Poland and Germany and began photographing professionally in the mid 1920s. She left Germany in 1935 for the United States, where she remained for the rest of her life. She was known for her portraits as well as her "photogenics," a technique that involved creating pictures without the use of a camera by exposing photosensitive paper to light, shadow, objects, etc. Her primary archives, including some 47,000 negatives, are held at the University of New Hampshire. She was friends with Joseph and Vera Gropper, and corresponded with them and their children over many years

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Lotte Jacobi Collection, accumulated by the Gropper family, consists of correspondence, photographs, and printed material.

Correspondence contains letters from Jacobi to Joseph and Vera Gropper and their family.

Photographs consists almost entirely of postcards printed with photographs by Jacobi, including her iconic photograph of Albert Einstein. Most are portraits, but there are also a few examples of her photogenics. There are also three photographs of Jacobi herself, and a picture of German expressionist painter Max Pechstein and his wife, in his studio.

Printed material contains books, clippings (including obituaries), and exhibit catalogs.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Photo postcards are arranged in the order received, to match the accompanying list of titles. Printed material is arranged alphabetically by type or title.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

The Lotti Jacobi Papers, consisting of 72 boxes and some 47,000 negatives, are held by the University of New Hampshire.

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Subject Headings


Beckers, Marion, Lotte Jacobi: Berlin-New York.
Gropper, Joseph.
Gropper, Vera.
Jacobi, Lotte, 1896-1990.

Associated Titles

Atelier Lotte Jacobi: Berlin-New York.


Photography, Artistic.
Portrait photography.
Women photographers.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Photographic postcards.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Lotte Jacobi Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Dawna (Gropper) Snyder

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 27 Sep 2017
Revision history: 13 Sep 2018 - bio updated (MRC)

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Box 1 Gropper family (Joseph, Vera, Dawna, Chris) 1969-1972
by Jacobi
Box 1 Einstein Portfolio 14 Mar 1979 - 25 reproductions in printed grey four-flap enclosure
Box 1 Photographs postcards, to Groppers - includes list of image titles, provided by donor
Box 1 Photographs postcards, not written on - includes list of image titles, provided by donor; one is a self-portrait of Jacobi
Box 1 Miscellaneous 1930, 1932 - Max Pechstein and wife; "Madonna," Stalinabad
Box 1 of Jacobi 1982, undated
Printed material
Box 1 Lotte Jacobi: Berlin-New York, by Marion Beckers and Elisabeth Moorgat, Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung Beuermann Gmb 1998 - hardcover edition, with jacket
Box 1 Lotte Jacobi, by James Fasanelli and Lotte Jacobi, Addison House 1978 - publisher's catalog with description of book
Box 1 Clippings about 1976-1980, 1987, 1990 - includes obituaries (2 folders)
Box 1 Exhibit 1973, 1977-1978

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