Born in Vienna in 1895, Trude Fleischmann became a prominent society photographer in the 1920s. Her Vienna studio was known as a gathering place for artists and intellectuals, and the subjects of her portraits included theater actress Margaret Webster, conductor Arturo Toscanini, architect Adolf Loos, and many other noteworthy figures of the time.
With the 1938 annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany, Fleischmann was forced to leave the country – destroying all but forty-one of her negatives in the process. Fleischmann moved to Paris, then London, and finally settled in New York City in 1939. In 1940, she opened a studio in Manhattan, resuming her portrait photography of celebrities and notable immigrants, including Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt. Fleischmann also worked as a fashion photographer, contributing to magazines such as Vogue.