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.”
Photography was in the background and foreground of the Queens Vet Center Open House that was held Friday, September 25th. On a big screen in the main room and scattered about the offices were the photographs taken by the veteran participants of an 8-week summer course hosted by JHP. Volunteer photographers Alberto Vasari and Maggie Carroll utilized their familiar indoor space and the local parks to guide participants with the camera.
Many of the veterans spoke on their love for working with the camera and their pleasure in learning from a fellow military man. We love when veterans teach veterans. We recognize the comfort and camaraderie that exists in these groups and also the veterans’ ability to see the world differently based on unique and sometimes troubled experiences. Thus, we find value in supporting their creative voice, vision and community engagement through our programs.
We love our partnership with the Queens Vet Center and look forward to more programs with this group. From start to finish we received tremendous support from Francisca, a beloved counselor at the Vet Center, who joined in the class each week. Thank you Queens Vet! See you soon.
Volunteer photographer Alberto with Queens Vet students.
Join the JHP family this week, June 22- June 25 at miLES (103 Allen Street) to celebrate the hard work and creative mind of Nousha Salimi, JHP photo editor and volunteer photographer. This exhibit is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts which also supported Nousha’s work with the veterans at Services for the Underserved: Knickerbocker Housing. The participants from this JHP program will also have their work exhibited all week.
The exhibit will be open 12pm-7pm each day with the final day concluding in a reception. The reception will be held Thursday June 25th from 6 -9pm.
We look forward to basking in the beauty that is photography with you.
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.**
55 Years of Service at Rehabilitation Through Photography (now Josephine Herrick Project)
By Jackie Augustine – October 2, 2014
My memories of Jean Lewis are fond. She was the tenacious phone call several times a year to tell me about the progress Rehabilitation Through Photography (now Josephine Herrick Project) was making in helping a myriad of underserved populations. As the Publisher of Petersen’s PHOTOgraphic magazine, I was her target for an annual donation to the organization, a definite buyer of the annual raffle tickets and always interested in writing a story in our magazine about the power of photography to make a difference. But it wasn’t until I came across the article in the archives that I discovered who Jean Lewis really was. It tells an amazing story of a woman who was ahead of her time. She believed in service. She believed in giving back. She believed in helping the underprivileged. And she had an interesting career as an actress on radio, in theater and as a children’s book author. Read this wonderful story about her from our archives that was published in Photo Marketing in 2004.
Jean Lewis began work at VSP in 1954 and remained for 55 years and served as the Executive Director for over 20 years.
Published in Photo Marketing – November 2004
Lots of people daydream about having exciting professions, like becoming an actor, writing and publishing books, or deciding their lives to serving others. In her long and remarkable career, Jean Lewis has done all these things.
Born in Shanghi, China to a father who worked for Texaco and a mother who came from a family of missionaries, Lewis was the thrid generation of her family to be born in China or Japan.
“I always thought life was going to be anticlimax after being born in Shanghai, but that didn’t happe,? Lewis said. Not by a long shot.
In the early 1940’s, Lewis was an actress on a number of radio soap operas, such as, “John’s Other Wife.” On one show, she performed opposite Tony Randall.
“In those days, it was 15-minute soap opera and you had exactly an hour beforehand for rehearsal.” Lewis said. “The time went very quickly. Some directors would actually cut from the bottom while you were reading from the script on the air. You would get the signal to cut a certain number of lines from the bottom of the page and scary things like that.”
From radio, Lewis went into theater,
“Back in 1944 and 1945, during the war, I was part of the nine-month national tour of a play called “Harriet” about Harriet Beecher Stowe, starring Helen Hayes. She was absolutely one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. In those days, stars did road tours. You hit the best of the best cities when you were touring with Helen Hayes, of course. I played her daughter in the play. It was the first professional theater job I had and everybody was agog that I had come to this from radio amateur theater.”
After the tour, Lewis continued her theater and radio work. She eventually took a position as program director of the American Theater Wing. “I was with them for about five years, booking entertainment for military and VA hospitals. That was a wonderful experience too,” Lewis said.
Lewis was also the author of about 100 children’s books.
“I got my start through Little Golden BooksI began by writing adventure books for “The Flinstones” and “Bugs Bunny.” I seemed to have a knack for it, so the editors started giving me assignments,” she said. “It was interesting, because you had to think in terms of pictures, illustrations. The pictures had to carry the story, which is also true of photography. It was very good training for me.”
Lewis also wrote versions of “The Jungle Book” and “The Swiss Family Robinson,” among many other books, for Golden.
In addition, Lewis called on her experience growing up in Asia when she wrote books like “Kathi and Hash San- The case of Measels” and “Jane and the Mandarin’s Secret.” The foreward of the latter book was was written by famed author Pearl Buck, who grew up with Lewis’ mother.
Lewis has served the sick, injured, elderly, and disadvantages as executive Director of Rehabilitation Through Photography since 1953.
Board members Craig Nisnewitz and Ron Sharpe at the JHP booth in 2013
Join Josephine Herrick Project at the PhotoPlus Expo Oct 30 – Nov 1 at Javits CenterRegister before October 28th and get a 3-day Expo Pass for free!The PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo is the largest photography and imaging show in North America, attended by over 22,000 professional photographers and enthusiasts. Explore over 220 exhibits, see thousands of new products, attend over 80 conference seminars, keynote presentations, special events & more.