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.**

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