Art was a business and a calling for photographer Editta Sherman (1913-2013). After her husband’s death in 1954, she worked tirelessly to maintain the portrait photography business that they had established. Working—and living—in one of the artist studios above Carnegie Hall for more than 60 years, Sherman charmed her celebrity clients with a vivacity and warmth that was reflected in the portraits of her subjects. Her creativity carried over to other avenues, serving as the historically clad muse to photographer Bill Cunningham in his Facades project and performing “The Dying Swan” ballet for Andy Warhol, among other projects.
Recently donated to New-York Historical by several of her children and grandchildren, 60 selections from the Editta Sherman archive will be on view in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery, showcasing Sherman’s signature style as she photographed luminaries such as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn author Betty Smith, actor Yul Brynner, playwright Lillian Hellman, and many others. The exhibition is curated by Marilyn Satin Kushner, curator and head, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections.
Support for Editta Sherman is provided by the family of Editta Sherman. Exhibitions at the New-York Historical Society are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.