Lisette Model, Reflections, Rockefeller Center, NY
Reflections, Rockefeller Center, NY

Lisette Model (1901-1983) was an Austrian-born American photographer primarily known for her street photography. Model initially studied piano and compositional theory with composer Arnold Schönberg, but discontinued her musical career in 1933, taking up photography shortly thereafter. Eventually settling in New York, Model found success as a commercial photographer for Harper’s Bazaar, where her work appeared regularly. Model was among the photographers included in “Sixty Photographs: A Survey of Camera Aesthetics,” the 1940 inaugural exhibition of the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Photography. She was invited to teach at the New School for Social Research in 1951, where she influenced notable photographers including Diane Arbus, Rosalind Solomon, Larry Fink, and many others. Model continued to teach until her death in 1983. She was the recipient of many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1965, and her work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris; among others.