Program Spotlight: Goodwill Beacon Student Photographers Prepare for College Tour

Goodwill Industries and Josephine Herrick Project recently collaborated to bring a 4-week after school photography program to high school students as they prepare to embark on their annual college tour. Learning to utilize the camera as a tool for documenting and telling a story, the students will serve as the official college tour photographers this year. Supported by the expertise of JHP volunteer photographers, Romina Hendlin and David Mark Erickson, the students focused on composition, finding patterns and point of view. The goal of this program is to guide students in navigating new spaces by using the viewfinder to zoom in on their interests as they relate to choosing a college to attend.

Last week, I led the group in a mock college tour around the Goodwill campus where we staged introductions to “college staff” and practiced the techniques of capturing stories of their individual and collective experiences with photos. As we walked the halls, I acted as a student tour guide asking and answering questions while the photography instructors quizzed them on their knowledge of the camera. To watch these students excitedly engage with the camera was incredible and gave me great confidence that they will return to Astoria with dazzling photos.

This pilot program is the first of what we hope to be many programs in collaboration with Goodwill’s Beacon program.

– A. Williams

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.



by Maureen McNeil, Executive Director – September 19, 2014

On Saturday, September 20, 2014, a dozen or more volunteers will search the 5th avenue and 42 Street Library databases and print records with research librarian Philip Sutton for traces of Josephine Herrick’s life and work.  He has assured me that we will be amazed at the small details of Herrick’s life that will surface.

Two events in her life that we do know about:

  1. In 1959 Herrick had an exhibition at the library but we do not know at this time which of her images were displayed.
  2. Herrick was one of the “atomic girls” who worked at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, documenting the making of the bomb, although she was not included in the recent book of that title. A letter has been found in the Josephine Herrick Project from the president of the United States thanking her for her service.

Check out today’s OpEd regarding the search for Josephine Herrick at . Help stop women from disappearing from the history books.

The one point I am hoping to better understand is Herrick’s arc of self-discovery. After graduating from Bryn Mawr and the Clarence H. White School of Photography, Josephine spent the 1920s and 30s at her portrait studio photographing debutantes. But from the 1940s until her death in 1973 she combined her passion for photography with public service.  What caused the lifelong about face? How can we teach people today that it is an option for all of us to move away from promoting the status quo and devote our lives to making lasting social change?


#Throwback Thursday – Josephine Herrick Taking a Portrait @ St. Albans in 1945


By Jackie Augustine – September 4, 2014

A wonderful photo from our archives of our founder Josephine Herrick.  This photo is of Josephine Herrick, Director of AWVS, Association of War Service Photography, taking a portrait snapshot of a patient at St. Albans Naval Hospital.  Photo by H. Johnston, AWVS War Service. Although this photo was taken almost 70 years ago, the Josephine Herrick Project continues the mission of service and photography to help veterans and other underserved populations.

Researching the Untold American Story of 900 Negatives

By Maureen McNeil – June 23, 2014

With the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, and the declaration of war, Josephine Herrick stepped out of her portrait studio on 63rd Street and into the NYC canteens. She engaged 35 volunteer photographers to take portraits of young men going off to war, and a print of each young man was sent to his family, in an effort to help the families stay connected.

Anove is a photo found in the JHP archives of a volunteer writing a letter to the family to include with the photo. Today more than 900 of these negatives, not seen since WWII, are housed at the JHP office. What kind of story will they tell when they are scanned, digitized and researched?  Where have all the young men gone? If alive today, most would be in their 90s. We are hoping to gather volunteers to help with this research project, to tell the stories of these young men in an exhibition celebrating of our 75th anniversary in 2016.

In the meantime, we are planning a research workshop this summer at the New York Public Library on 42 street to discover what we can about the fabulous Josephine Herrick. It is her  combined passions for photography and service that continue as our mission today. We encourage all of our participants follow Josephine’s footsteps and become engaged in their communities.

2013 Reflections from our Executive Director

Josephine Herrick


Dear JHP Community, 

A million thanks to all of you who made 2013 a fantastic year for JHP. Kudos to our students, their families, our partners at schools, hospitals and social service agencies, the photo industry, the 84 photographers who contributed to the success of our November 4th photo auction, our volunteer teaching photographers, and our board of directors! I am filled with joy about the generosity of our community. 

It was also a year of growth for me, witnessing how the art of photography brings about social justice in our programs. Last February, curious to learn more about the magical work of our founder, Josephine Herrick,  I flew to Buffalo to meet her nephew Skip Herrick and hear some of the family stories.

Skip Herrrick


. The Herricks are well educated, hard working citizens and leaders in the fields of law and medicine in many states. No wonder Josephine accomplished so much! This fall I met with SVA art historian Bonnie Yohelson, a Clarence White expert. He was Josephine’s mentor in the 1920s who believed in women’s equality, working photographers like Josephine and Margaret Bourke-White. And with the help of sound expert Jeff Berman, we digitized some 1950s radio shows in our archives of both Josephine Herrick and Margaret Bourke-White pitching for this organization!!! Very cool. Stay tuned—we plan to share it with you! 

Margaret Bourke-White


Josephine continues to be an excellent role model for young people today. She showed by example that giving to others makes humans feel good. This is something we try to instill in our students. If you have not yet given to JHP, please press the donate button on our home page and become an active member of the JHP community. Give now before the end of the year!

 Have a healthy and happy 2014!

 Maureen McNeil

Executive Director

Josephine Herrick Project


JHP’s Trip to Buffalo to Meet Skip Herrick, Our Founder’s Nephew

By Maureen McNeil – June 4, 2013 

On May 21, Josephine Herrick Project’s executive Director Maureen McNeil and videographer Kristen Jensen made a trip to Buffalo, New York to visit Josephine Herrick’s nephew, Skip Herrick to talk about his “Beloved Aunt Josephine,” our organizations incredible founding woman.

Skip and and his wife Joy live on what was once Skip’s father’s 100 acre estate, a serene setting with a large pond where his father took his daily swim. Skip described Josephine as well educated and well traveled, like the rest of the Herrick clan. She was also fiercely independent, a brilliant business woman, and did not like to have her photograph taken. Skip and Aunt Josephine or “Doe Bun” as the family called her, bonded at age six when she took him to downtown Cleveland to watch the steam engines roll in. As he grew older, he sensed that she was doing important work in New York City, associating with famous photographers, working in the city she loved, but there were subjects “Aunt Josephine” never talked about: her secret work on the Manhattan Project during WWII, and boyfriends. He doesn’t know what became of her favorite Leica camera or her photographs exhibited in the Cleveland Museum of Art. When Josephine died age 75, Skip accompanied her casket to the family burial ground in Cleveland.

Learning about Josephine Herrick’s accomplishments is one of the many goals at JHP. As an artist and changemaker, she enhanced the lives of over 100,000 Americans by providing photography programs to people in-need, and today she continues to be a role model for people everywhere. If you have stories you would like to share about Volunteer Service Photographers, Rehabilitation Through Photography, Josephine Herrick, or Jean Lewis, who worked at the organization from 1947 to 2009, please contact us at

Pop Photo Editor’s Letter: A Photographer’s Legacy



Popular Photography Editor in Chief Miriam Leuchter explains the importance of giving back through photography


Josephine Herrick started her organization in 1941, by photographing young men going to war, and sending the photographs to their loved ones.
The ground-floor gallery at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights was buzzing one night this spring. Black-and-white photographs—portraits and close-up details of objects—lined the walls, along with heartfelt statements from the 20 photographers. The crowd included the artists’ friends and family, a famous photographer or two, scores of well-wishers, and even a service dog. I was one of two featured speakers (the other was Brendon Stanton, the photographer/founder of the popular Humans of New York street portrait site).The show, “Portraits of Courage,” was the culmination of a photography class for veterans taught at Brooklyn’s V.A. hospital. The vets had spent 10 weeks working with pro photographer Camille Tokerud and creative arts therapist Beryl Brenner to move beyond the snapshot and make images with a voice all their own. Partnering with the V.A. to create, teach, and support the program with cameras and printing was the Josephine Herrick Project.I wrote about this organization here about three years ago, before I joined its board of directors. Then it was called Rehabilitation Through Photography, a name that served it well for much of its 72 years. But we recently decided to change the name to honor its founder. Photographer Josephine Herrick started it by marshalling volunteers to take portraits of servicemen at the dawn of the World War II, and later retooled it to teach photography to wounded veterans. While extending instruction and equipment to a variety of other underserved people—including kids and adults with autism, at-risk teens, and the formerly homeless—Herrick and those directors who followed hewed to the same mission. It’s enshrined in our new tagline: “Enhancing lives through photography.”Thanks to incredibly generous donations by Canon, Fujifilm, Pentax, Sony, and other camera makers and members of the Photoimaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA), I no longer have to repeat my request for your old cameras. We have new ones! But I urge you to think about how you might be able to help, whether as a donor or a volunteer. Visit our website at and follow us on social media. Order our books of photos from recent students—including the Brooklyn veterans—and from its fascinating archives on Keep an eye out this fall for a show at the Leica Gallery in New York City and for the photography auction we’re putting together.

The Josephine Herrick Project, though small on funding, has a very big impact on the lives of those it touches. With your support it will flourish, grow, and keep enhancing lives through photography for decades to come.


Josephine Herrick’s Letter to Eastman Kodak Company, 1959

(Above, WWII soldiers at a VA hospital participating in JHP’s, photography services, hand coloring their photographs from hospital beds)

The beginnings of the Josephine Herrick Project, as you know, started with Josephine Herrick’s founding of VSP, or Volunteer Service Photographers.

In 1959, Josephine wrote to Eastman Kodak to petition to hang photographs of student work at the Eastman Information Bureau in Grand Central Station. The photographs she wished to have displayed were hand oil-colored by students of VSP because they were originally shot in black and white. Many times students would paint from their hospital beds, as well as many other unconventional situations. This way, participants were able to create and keep busy while confined under less than ideal circumstances.

Today, Josephine Herrick Project, formerly VSP, follows that same philosophy of bringing equipment and material directly to the student’s environment, whether a hospital, school, community center or housing shelter.

Below is the actual letter. Click to enlarge.