Celebrating the Life and Work of Josephine Herrick

Josephine Herrick passed away March 27, 1972, forty-three years ago today. As we speak, our volunteer researchers are in contact with Cleveland Museum of Art, NY Public Library, NY Camera Club, Bryn Mawr, Case Western Reserve, Library of Congress, National Archives, Princeton University, among other institutions to learn more about her life and times and hopefully discover some of her photographs. Not only did she found, in 1941, what today is called the Josephine Herrick Project, but she also lead a remarkable life as a professional photographer and volunteer.

We recently discovered that while she ran her charity that expanded to 30 states, she taught photography throughout the Northeast. Between 1924 and 1966 she exhibited her art photographs at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Camera Club of New York, Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, Smithsonian Institution, Bryn Mawr College, New York Junior League, and the New York Public Library. In addition, her photographs were published in the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1924; the Junior League Magazine 1926; the Cleveland Museum of Art Bulletin in 1927; and from 1929 to 1939 in Town and Country, Spur, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Saturday Review of Literature, Newport Bulletin and Cleveland Town Tidings.

One of the most amazing projects Josephine organized which has not yet been made available to the American public, is more than a thousand photographs of young men about to ship out to Europe during WWII. Krista Kennell, the JHP director of photography, is scanning and cleaning these negatives in an effort to preserve them while volunteer Will Rhyins is making working prints of a group of 50 images Josephine took in the New York Harbor on Navy Day, Oct 27, 1945, celebrating the end of the war. We hope to find funding to exhibit this American story next year in honor of JHP’s 75th anniversary.

Our collection of Josephine’s work is growing. Bob Hopper, historian of the Chautauqua Institution recently gifted JHP with hundreds of digital photos Josephine took between 1955 and 1967 as the official Chautauqua photographer, as well as one of her notebooks and a dozen contact sheets.

If you have materials or information about Josephine Herrick, please share it with us. Contact me at maureen@jhproject or 212-213-4946.

— Maureen McNeil


** The image above is featured in the Winter 1953 edition of the Bryn Mawr Alumnae Magazine where Josephine had an article published.**

JHP Celebrates Photography Trailblazer Anna Atkins

Before our Josephine Herrick came along and began making a name for herself as a female photographer, there were other trailblazing women who utilized the camera in areas from art expression to scientific investigation. One such dynamic woman was Anna Atkins. Born in 1799 in the United Kingdom, Anna is credited with publishing the first book to feature photographic images. As a botanist and photographer, she captured cyanotype impressions of initially algae and grew to work with other plants. In October 1843, Anna self-published her photograms in the first installment of Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions.

Her three volume book is currently known to only have seventeen copies and they are sprinkled around the world at institutions including: the British Library in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and NY Public Library in New York, and the Kelvingrove Art Galley and Museum in Scotland.

JHP is honored to celebrate women, especially female photographers like Anna Atkins, this month and every month as we continue Josephine Herrick’s legacy by providing photography programming in the community.

– Afiya S. Williams, Program Coordinator

Brain Trauma Survivor’s Pursue Photography

by: Elana Hart, Development Director

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. More than 5 million people live with Chronic TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) which may include some vision and hearing loss, loss of memory, and other cognitive deficits. JHP has partnered with a Brain Trauma Survivor’s Group from Lower Manhattan. The photography program is taught by JHP photographers Alberto Vasari and Vik Gupta.

“The class consists of nine students (six female and three male) who have all suffered brain injuries that span pre-natal damage to trauma suffered just a few years ago.” Says Vik “This is a local chapter of a state-wide association and the participants have a wide variety of backgrounds ranging from business to combat. According to their activities coordinator, Mauricio, these workshops have, for the first time, sparked a lot of sharing among group members, increased their engagement with the environment through observation, and provided an outlet for their creative talents. The sharing is not limited to the images captured but extends to their worldview and experiences in life after their injuries. Working with this group is a joy and the benefits for both students and teachers are apparent.”

Program Spotlight: Job Path Students Take New Steps with Photography

Job Path NYC recently hosted a student photography exhibit after the completion of an amazing 8-week program that put cameras in the hands of nine participants ranging in age and developmental need. Led by JHP photographers Vik Gupta and Elena Bernstein, the group took regular trips around Manhattan to places like: The Highline, Broadway, Bryant Park and the newly renovated Fulton Street train station. As always, JHP programs are designed to increase camera knowledge, expand horizons and offer new experiences to each participant. Despite the challenges our Job Path students face in their daily lives, working with the camera has offered an opportunity for participants to step outside of their regularly scheduled activities and look closer at the world in which they belong.

Students like Jose G. have really taken to photography and are utilizing JHP lessons outside of the program to grow his photography skills and his ability to use those talents for work and as a hobby. Already selling his photographs printed on wooden blocks to places like Job Path, Jose is a great example of why these programs are a perfect fit for our diverse communities.

Job Path supports people with developmental disabilities as they make choices about their lives and play valued roles in their communities.

Participants with Job Path and JHP Staff.

JHP Volunteer Photographers.

— Afiya S. Williams, Program Coordinator

Vivian Maier Print for Auction on Paddle8 March 17-31

Proceeds support Josephine Herrick Project.

During Women’s History Month, we are thrilled that a Vivian Maier print was donated to us by John Maloof and Howard Greenberg Gallery.

The print is up for bid through March 31, 2015.

Vivian Maier (February 1, 1926-April 21.2009) was an American street photographer born in New York City. Although born in the U.S., it was in France that Maier spent most of her youth. Maier returned to the U.S. in 1951 where she took up work as a nanny for the rest of her life. In her leisure however, Maier had begun to venture into the art of photography. Consistently taking photos over the course of five decades, she would ultimately leave over 100,000 negatives, most of them shot in Chicago and New York City. She was recently the subject of the documentary Finding Vivian Maier.

March is Brain Trauma Awareness Month

by: Elana Hart, Development Director

An estimated 2.4 million children and adults in the U.S. sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and another 795,000 individuals sustain an acquired brain injury (ABI) from non-traumatic causes each year. Currently more than 5.3 million children and adults in the U.S. live with a lifelong disability as a result of TBI.

Josephine Herrick Project has a long standing partnership with Rusk Rehabilitation, one of 16 model centers across the nation recognized for their excellence in rehabilitation after TBI, and a new partnership with a Brain Trauma Survivor’s Group that meets in lower Manhattan.

JHP Welcomes New Program Coordinator Afiya Williams








 Afiya joins the Josephine Herrick Project team as our new Program Coordinator. A budding photographer with an academic background in Sociology and English from Smith College and Educational Leadership from NYU, Afiya is utilizing her personal and professional passions at JHP by creatively serving and interacting with diverse communities. Fi’s free time is filled with friends, photography, writing and movies.

“We are thrilled to have Afiya on our team” says Executive Director, Maureen McNeil “Afiya will be working with our volunteer photographers and our community partners to ensure that we are inclusive and maintain high quality programming for all of our participants.”

The Program Coordinator position was made possible through a grant from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council distributed by The New York State Council of the Arts.