The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Photo by: Linda C.

Navy Veteran Linda Catlett recently sent a thank you letter to JHP Executive Director, Maureen McNeil, for the amazing opportunity to learn photography at the Bronx Vet Center on Morris Avenue. JHP teaching artists, Robin Dahlberg and Adam Isler, were well received by Catlett and her fellow servicemen, no matter where they were on the photography expertise scale.

Catlett note reads, “As a novice with no experience behind a camera, I am happily surprised to realize a new joy in my life that will compliment my new career as a published author. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity for betterment and enriching my life. The Josephine Herrick Project is a gift that keeps on giving.”

Photo by: Dondi M.

Photo by: Luther C.

Photo by: Marco B.

JHP Enhances Lives at the Portland Vet Center

The Portland Art Museum hosted a summer event on June 16, 2016 celebrating military veterans, including sixty 8 x 10 photographs taken by nine veterans in the Josephine Herrick Project program at the Portland Vet Center. Nine combat veterans, from Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, attended the program at the Vet Center over six Saturdays, from April 2 to May 7th. All printing was paid for by the JHP volunteer photographers. This was the first time JHP has had an active presence in the Northwest and the program was well received.

Jack Kane, a US Army veteran who learned photography during his service in Germany, recently retired from the transportation industry and approached Maureen McNeil, Executive Director of JHP, about volunteering with veterans and attended a week long training in NYC in the fall of 2015. McNeil introduced him to NYC veteran programs and issues, the JHP staff, photographers and participants. They visited Jean Cooney at the Bronx VA Hospital, Francisca Nazario at the Queens Vet Center, and Brett Morash, JHP Board member, at Services for the Underserved.

In Portland, Jack recruited volunteers who attended training sessions with JHP Program Director Afiya Williams over conference call and skype. Doug Huegli was the primary instructor with 20 plus years of teaching photography at the high school level and his part time work as a commercial photographer.   Ellen Lodine, a retired high school teacher, was assisted. Randy Carpenter, an avid amateur photographer also assisted in a coaching role.   Kane attended each session and presented the “introduction” lesson. Rosemary Knapp continues to assist by contacting organizations interesting in hosting public showings of the veteran’s photography.

Photograph by: George (participant)

“JHP recently received a planning grant to grow veteran programs in upstate New York,” said McNeil. “Working with a talented businessman and veteran Jack Kane made the planning and execution of the long distance program relatively easy to maintain the JHP brand and quality of our programming. I am sorry that we did not have travel funding in place to attend the Portland Museum of Art opening.”

Photograph by: Chris (participant)

Thank you Jack Kane, The Portland Vet Center, The Portland Museum of art, all the volunteers and participants.  Several days after the event ended, Kane was contacted by the Portland Art Museum and the JHP veteran programs were invited to attend the event again in 2017.


Photograph by: Art (participant)

Some Mother’s Son: The War Photography of Josephine Herrick

Photo ©Josephine Herrick

From the Professional Women Photographers Blog – July 11, 2016

On December 6th, 1941, Pearl Harbor wasn’t a place on the mind of many Americans, if they knew about it at all. Located on the island of Oahu near Honolulu, it was home to thousands of servicemen and the U.S. Pacific fleet. Danger was thought to be elsewhere, in the war spreading across Europe. America, protected by sea and strong isolationist sentiment, wasn’t involved.

That changed the next morning when hundreds of Japanese planes dropped from the sky just before eight. Swooping down on the naval base, they bombed, torpedoed, and strafed till twenty U.S. vessels and hundreds of aircraft were crippled or destroyed. When they departed two hours later, the harbor was black with smoke, the water strewn with wreckage and crumpled ships. Nearly 2,500 servicemen perished, 1,177 of them entombed in the USS Arizona when a bomb struck the ammunition magazine. It was the day that changed the course of America, and sent the destinies of a generation spinning.

The Bombing of Pearl Harbor

Unlike recent conflicts, Word War ll was a shared burden that cast a long shadow over many families. As troops headed overseas, people pitched in at home. Many women went to work in factories like Rosie the Riveter, and millions volunteered for the Red Cross, while others contributed in unique, personal ways. One of these was Josephine Herrick.



Josephine-herrick/Herrick was born in 1897, the third child of a prominent Cleveland family. During World War l, she served as a Red Cross nurse in her home city, then attended Bryn Mawr, and later the Clarence H. White School of Photography in New York. There she mastered the technology and art of the discipline, exhibiting her work, winning several awards in shows at the Cleveland Museum of Art. In 1928, she opened a photo studio with her friend, Princess Miguel de Braganza, an American socialite who’d married man of royal Portuguese descent. Located on East 63rd Street in Manhattan’s Silk Stocking District, the studio specialized in portraits of debutantes and children. Before Pearl Harbor, as conflict grew in Europe, Herrick joined the American Women’s Voluntary Services, training photographers to document news events and educate the public on blackouts.

About Professional Women Photographers

Professional Women Photographers (PWP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of women photographers. Through exhibitions, workshops and networking opportunities, PWP creates a dynamic and inspiring environment that encourages individual growth and promotes public interest in photography. Our monthly lecture series combines social networking with the opportunity to meet successful photographers and industry leaders who discuss their careers, artistic inspiration, and technical choices.

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“Subway Sleepers” Opened with Grand Success!

What an amazing opening reception we had last night at La Mama Theatre featuring Linda Kessler‘s “Subway Sleepers” and the work of program participants from the JHP and Brain Injury Awareness of New York State partnership!

We are so grateful for all that attended and shared love and energy with us. Your support makes it possible to continue to do the fulfilling work of enhancing lives through photography!

Many MANY thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts for supporting our community work and believing in our mission. Here’s to another great exhibit!

Did you miss it? The exhibit is open all weekend:
June 23-24: 11am-9pm
June 25-26: 2pm-9pm


‘Subway Sleepers’ are the stars of an upcoming photo exhibit by Brooklyn Heights artist Linda Kessler

Please join us for the opening reception of an exhibition called “Subway Sleepers” at the Downstairs Gallery at La MaMa, a famous experimental theater at 66 E. 4th St. in the East Village on Wednesday, June 22nd from 6 to 8pm.  The show is sponsored by the Josephine Herrick Project, with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Here’s a great article about the show:

 In the city that never sleeps, the ultimate act of vulnerability is slumbering on the subway.

Artist Linda Kessler spent five years taking photographs of nappers riding the rails on Brooklyn-bound trains heading in the opposite direction from upscale office workers on their way to jobs in Manhattan skyscrapers.

She turned the photos into works of art by layering them on top of each other and processing them in a special way.

“I wanted the photos to look like I had painted over them,” Kessler, a Brooklyn Heights resident since the 1980s, said in a recent interview.

They will be displayed in an exhibition called “Subway Sleepers” at the Downstairs Gallery at La MaMa, a famous experimental theater at 66 E. 4th St. in the East Village.

The opening reception is scheduled for June 22.

Read more:


Zonerama Magazine feature “The Josephine Herrick Project” Enriching Lives Through Photography”

on 26 May, 2016 at 10:00

Apologies are in order as we open this piece today as we’re writing about an organization that’s been around for 75 years, so we’re a bit late to this party. And, as you’ll see, it’s been quire a ride for photography organization staple The Josephine Herrick Project.

As their mission statement explains, JHP has been educating students who have not had the opportunity to learn the communicative power of photography. Through partnerships with local organizations, JHProject’s completely free programs inspire children, teens, adults and seniors with the visual language of photography, enhancing their abilities to transform communities through artistic vision.

Long History of Inspiration


While the thousands of individual stories and lives this organization has touched, and subsequently changed, could fill up the web with their tales of inspiration, we’ll focus on exactly what the JHProject is all about as, to an extent, they have flown under the radar for many.

First some background, as the since 1941, the Josephine Herrick Project, a not-for-profit organization, has implemented a broad range of photography programs, providing training, direction and equipment to undeserved communities. When you spend time around anyone that has experienced JHP it’s clear the organization believes that by providing this creative platform to the physically and emotionally challenged, the elderly, at-risk youth, homeless and the visually impaired populations, photography can inspire and enable these individuals to channel their energy in an open and expressive way. And exactly that it most certainly has.

“This reinforces independence, self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment that rekindles a lasting interest and enthusiasm about life. No longer are they labeled by their disability but they are enabled by their ability to connect to and capture the world around them through photography,” is the motto JHP proudly stands behind.

Inspired By Tragedy

Photograph by: Sheridan Dean

As for Ms. Herrick herself, the spark for all she and her JHProject would become sprung from tragedy as, like all Americans, her life took a dramatic turn with the December 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. She became a lead instructor at the War Service Photography, training photographers to document news events and educate the public on blackouts. She also organized a booth at the local canteen to photograph young men going off to war, and sent the photos with a personal note to their loved ones in an effort to keep families connected.

When wounded soldiers began returning to NY hospitals, Dr. Howard Rusk of the Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine approached Herrick about using photography as a tool for healing. This challenge required a heroic effort to organize temporary dark rooms, photographic equipment and chemicals in the hospital setting. She trained female colleagues to work with her and started Volunteer Service Photographers, complete with uniforms and badges, creating darkrooms out of beds and sheets, and pushing equipment on rollers from room to room.

When the smoke cleared after WWII the seeds had been planted and the vision for the JHProject was clearer than ever. The power of photography would carry Herrick and her project forward and long after her death in 1972, and some 75 years after her “project” began, her legacy is still going strong.

“The Josephine Herrick Project” Enriching Lives Through Photography


Professor Virginia Franklin, Associate Professor at St. Francis College and JHP Advisory Committee Member, wanted to share this inspiring film by German filmmaker, Tobias Kriele, The Power of the Weak, about one man’s journey through the free health and medical system in Cuba, as well as his political work to free the Cuban Five.

The Women’s Press Collective hosted a showing of the documentary The Power of the Weak at ​St. Francis on Monday April 18th. The film is a great look inside Cuba through the profile of a young man named Jorgito who, despite having severe cerebral palsy, completed his education through college and has his disorder well controlled, both made possible by Cuba’s free education and health systems.

On Tuesday. April 19th, Jorgito received a visa to visit the States, and was in New York Saturday throughMonday. The WPC had a second showing of The Power of the Weak and both Jorgito and Tobias Kriele were present for a post viewing discussion. Lisa Daniell, the head of Women’s Press Collective, made a special effort to reach out to People living with disability.

At this time of changing U.S.-Cuba relations, The Power of the Weak screening and discussion provides a unique opportunity for U.S. audiences to learn about some of the achievements of Cuban society. Jorgito, who was born with severe cerebral palsy, and his family, friends, doctors and teachers, describe the physical and academic accomplishments, social integration and political participation of a young disabled person in Cuban society through compelling personal interviews. The documentary provides a picture of the world-renowned Cuban medical and educational systems that persist through the country’s economic suffering.

Jorgito’s deep love for his country found expression through his participation in the campaign to free the Cuban Five ― five Cubans whose imprisonment in the U.S. for infiltrating anti-Cuban organizations in Miami engaged in attacks on Cuba was internationally criticized, generating a world-wide movement for their freedom. Recognizing the relationship of his own development to the development of the society in which he lives,

Jorgito states: ”Without Cuba and its history, I wouldn’t be Jorgito.”

Please contact The Women’s Press Collective at 718-222-0405 for future screenings of the film.




Happy Josephine Herrick Day!

New York, NY — In honor of it’s 75th anniversary, Josephine Herrick Project (JHP), a nonprofit combining photography and social justice, announced the establishment of March 30th as JOSEPHINE HERRICK DAY. This year the organization also established the Josephine Herrick Photography Award, an annual photography contest to support photographers committed to exploring stories of social injustice.

The 2016 winner is Donna Pinckley. Donna teaches photography at University of Central Arkansas and has received many awards, fellowships and honors over the years. From 1990 to 2008, Pinckley hosted fourteen solo exhibitions, and her photographs are currently in the collections of six art Museums. Here is what Pinckley says about her series “Sticks and Stones:”

“The series began with an image of one of my frequent subjects and her African-American boyfriend. Her mother told me of the cruel taunts hurled at her daughter for dating a boy of another race. As she was speaking I was reminded of another couple many years ago, who had been the object of similar racial slurs. What struck me was the resilience of both couples in the face of derision, their refusal to let others define them. Two years ago I began photographing interracial couples of all ages, aiming as always to capture how they see themselves, the world of love and trust they have created despite adversity. I began adding the negative comments they have been subjected to at the bottom of the images.”

The contest was judged by: JHP Board Vice President Miriam Leuchter, editor of Popular Photography and American Photo magazines; and renown photographers Nina Berman and Deborah Willis.

Josephine Herrick Project is committed to using photography to help level the field for the 31% of New Yorkers living in poverty and 11% living with disabilities. Twenty-six NYC communities annually participate in the photography programs, publications and exhibitions. Cameras are used as transformational tools that give a voice to all people and help them connect to the world through the visual language of photography.

With the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, founder Josephine Herrick left her portrait studio on 63rd Street and organized 35 photographers to set up photo booths at NYC canteens where young men going to war gathered. Like an early Facebook or Instagram, these photos were sent with a note to hometowns across the country in an effort to keep families connected. Herrick next organized volunteer photographers to teach programs to wounded soldiers in VA hospitals. This eventually spread to thirty states, and included, children, youth and adults.

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Making Photos is Making History

Last week, I attended a Black History Month event in Harlem, hosted by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. I was instantly touched by the words of Ming Smith, who was honored that evening, when she said, “photographs are powerful, and looking at your own photograph makes you powerful.” So true! We create our own history when we snap a picture.

I hope you all had a chance to read the Editor’s Letter in the February issues of Popular Photography
by Miriam Leuchter. She is also Vice President of the Board of Directors at JHP and heads up the development committee. We are so lucky to have her! She shares her observations on a visit to our photography program that takes place at NYU Langone Medical Center with adults suffering from brain injury. A testament to the magic of the camera lens – of all the arts, I find photography to be the most accessible and versatile. With an introduction by a professional, our participants learn hands-on, create, share and connect. Offering a camera to someone who feels cut off because of poverty or illness is an invitation to be part of the world, and make history.