18 photographs

Georgia Litwack
18 photographs

left: Georgia Litwack, (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1922–2020 Newton, Massachusetts), Alva Myrdal and her daughter Sissela Bok, 1979, Gelatin silver print, Gift of Deborah Litwack 2021.15.1

right: Georgia Litwack, (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1922–2020 Newton, Massachusetts), Agnes Mongan, 1979, Gelatin silver print, Gift of Deborah Litwack 2021.15.7

A set of eighteen photographs by Georgia Litwack was recently gifted to the Davis Museum by the artist’s daughter. A self-trained photographer and photojournalist best known for her portraits of famous women, Litwack began her career as a photojournalist in Buffalo during World War II. She dedicated herself to photography after moving to Boston with her husband, taking graduate courses at MIT and studying with the renowned photographer Minor White. Litwack became an influential educator in her own right, founding the photography program at the deCordova Museum of Art School and lecturing on the subject at Radcliffe College and other educational institutions.

This gift of eighteen photographs consists of portraits of groundbreaking Boston-area women, as well as images of Minor White’s home and garden. The portraits include important figures such as Agnes Mongan, a former director and curator of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard and the first female director of a major art museum in the United States; Harvard philosopher Sissela Bok and her mother Swedish diplomat Alva Myrdal, the 1982 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize; cultural icon Elma Lewis, a revered educator and founder of the National Center for Afro-American Artists (NCAAA); and Doriot Anthony Dwyer, principal flutist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and only the second woman in a major American orchestra appointed to a principal chair. Although the solo exhibition Undertones: Photographs by Georgia Litwack was held at the Wellesley College Art Museum in 1977, this gift is the first time her work has been accessioned into the collections.