Jewish Photographic Memories

Jewish Museum of Florida. From Feb 10th through May 10th, 2009.  Jewish Museum of Florida. Miami MuseumsThe Jewish Museum of Florida announces the opening of its next temporary exhibit, Jewish Photographic Memories by Gabriela Landau, on February 10th, 2009. The show of 25 black and white images of New York City's Lower East Side will run through May 10th, 2009.

Gabriela Landau worked on many different assignments as a photographer, but when she wandered the streets of New York in the 1950s and '60s, her camera focused on a particular and favorite subject: the Lower East Side. The Brooklyn Museum of Art and University of Lyons, France have some of these photographs in their permanent collection. Home to a large Jewish community, the Lower East Side was bustling with activity. Corner delis, street vendors, busy pedestrians, piles of pretzels and handwritten Yiddish signs were some of the scenes and characters Landau captured. This colorful world, long gone, is suspended in time in her photographs.

Photography has become a growing art world industry. Memories of the past define us. Today photography has become a full-blown artistic medium in its own right and is drawing one of the world's largest gallery and museum audiences. The artistic qualities of Landau's works are as compelling as the historical and human-interest aspects.

Gabriela Landau received her photographic training in New York City from Victor Laredo, a well-known photographer who has authored several books. She worked with Fritz Henle, former Life Magazine photographer, administering his studio and work in New York. Edward Steichen, first curator of photography of the New York Museum of Modern Art, requested her work for an exhibition. Landau, who has received numerous honors, specializes in documentary black-and-white photography. She has been published in the New York Times, American Annual of Photography, Modern Photography, Salon Photography, and Behold a Great Image by the Jewish Publication Society.

Landau produced promotional and advertising materials for the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York and for the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. She has had exhibits at the New York Public Library, the Hillel House at Northwestern University, the Newburg New York Library and the JCC of Cleveland and placed first in several of the annual photographers' exhibits.

Gabriela Landau was born in Germany and immigrated to Panama in 1939 with her family, and then to Jacksonville, Florida in 1941. She met her husband, Rabbi Sol Landau, in New York where they married in 1951. They moved to congregations in many communities throughout the United States and then settled in Miami in 1965, when he became the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth David. She established the Fine Arts Program there.
Gabriela Landau has had many careers in addition to photography. She was a sociologist in the 1970s before she became a stockbroker in 1977. From 1999 – 2004, she was a senior vice-president for investments for UBS. She has been a leader in many Jewish organizations her entire life and has received awards for her lifetime of commitment, including the Museum's Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award in 1998. Landau selected this collection of her works for the show, which evoke memories for the viewers and link them back to the 20th century.

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