PhotographerZaida Ben-Yúsuf

CountryUnited States


JournalDie Kunst in der Photographie 1898

AtelierGeorg Büxenstein & Co.


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Fancy Portrait, Fashion, Portrait: Woman


Image Dimensions: 14.7 x 20.2 cm : Art folio #1, plate #1: Die Photographie in Amerika

In 1899, the photographic art critic Sadakichi Hartmann wrote a profile of Ben-Yúsuf, (1869-1933) an important female artistic photographer who  first operated a studio at 124 Fifth Ave. in 1897 and later at 578 Fifth Ave. in New York City.

     “Personally she is very fastidious in her taste, one of those peculiar persons who can only live in a room with wall paper of a most violent blue. In her dresses she is a second Mrs. Hovey, although not quite as eccentric.  She attends Ibsen performances, and everything else that mildly stirs up the Bohemian circles, reads decadent literature, and fancies high-keyed pictures such as outshout each other in color, best. And yet, strange to say, in her photography she almost escapes her environment.  There is no suggestion of it; everything is sober, intelligent, and refined.  She perfectly understands the limitations of photography, and in producing pictorial results relies more on the mechanical assistance of the soulless camera than on her own creative power.  There is no affectation in her art.  And although the majority of her pictures have noticeable qualities that mark them as peculiarly noteworthy and interesting to an observer, the effects are all obtained legitimately.” 1.

1. “A Purist”, in: The Valiant Knights of Daguerre: Selected Critical Essays on Photography and Profiles of Photographic Pioneers by Sadakichi Hartmann: Edited by Harry W. Lawton and George Knox with the collaboration of Wistaria Hartmann Linton: University of California Press: Berkeley and Los Angeles: 1978: pp. 170-171