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Lotte Meitner-Graf
(1898 — 1973)

Lotte Meitner-Graf was an Austrian photographer. Born in Vienna in 1899, Meitner-Graf established a photographic studio in her native city in around 1920 where she quickly became recognised as one of the most eminent young photographers in Austria. Meitner-Graf often travelled to Germany to visit sister-in-law Liese Meitner, a celebrated nuclear physicist. Her familial visits soon turned into professional opportunities, and Meitner-Graf began to photograph a number of eminent European scientists in her distinctive style of portraiture. Alongside her growing reputation as photographer of cultural figures such as academics and scientists, Meitner-Graf particularly enjoyed photographing artists and musicians. Her talent for capturing black and white portraits was very well regarded both in Continental Europe and far further afield, as indicated by her portraits of Marian Anderson, celebrated American contralto singer, in 1934.


Following the German annexation of Austria, Meitner-Graf relocated to England with her family in 1937 to escape religious and racial persecution. In 1953 she established her own photographic studio in Mayfair, London. In the years that followed, the artist’s reputation as a celebrated portrait photographer grew substantially. Meitner-Graf photographed a great range of British and European cultural figures during her career. From famed writers such as Bertrand Russell, eminent composers such as Benjamin Britten and Anthony Hopkins to a host of Nobel Prize winning scientists and philosophers, Albert Schwietzer and Dorothy Hodgkin among them, the artist’s distinctive black and white portraits were widely enjoyed. Meitner-Graf died in 1973.


For more information visit the Lotte Meitner-Graf website here.