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Elsbeth Juda: Grit and Glamour

She disregarded fashion photography’s formal conventions, using unusual, often incongruous backdrops for her shoots

Elsbeth Juda: Grit and Glamour, 1 March - 1 July 2018

    Barbara Goalen on the roof of Whitworth & Mitchell's showroom
    Barbara Goalen on the roof of Whitworth & Mitchell's showroom Elsbeth Juda. Manchester, England 1952. (V&A Archives)

    The Jewish Museum London is displaying a retrospective of the late photographer Elsbeth Juda, a Jewish émigré who brought a new modernist artistic vision to Britain from Germany.

    Known professionally as ‘Jay’, she worked as a commercial photographer for magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and advertising agencies in a career spanning over 45 years. Juda was best known for her work for The Ambassador magazine in the 1950s and 1960s.

    This exhibition showcases a selection of her output for The Ambassador, featuring glamorous commercial shots and portraits of some of the best know faces in British art and design. Subjects range from Britain’s first supermodel, Barbara Goalen, and the Sadler’s Wells Ballet to Winston Churchill and Henry Moore.

    The Jewish Museum said: "Although a trailblazing female photographer, Juda's artistic contribution is largely unrecognised today. She disregarded fashion photography’s formal conventions, using unusual, often incongruous backdrops for her shoots."

    Juda was born in Germany in 1911 and fled Nazi occupation for London with her husband Hans in 1933. In 1946, Hans relaunched the established trade journal International Textiles as The Ambassador magazine, focused on promoting British fashion, art, culture, trade and industry for the global export market. It was published monthly in English, German, French and Portuguese.

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