Career

Career

Books/catalogs:

1978    A World Through My Window, (Harper and Row)
1981    A Photo Journal, (Viking Press)
1983    More Pictures From My Window, (Rizzoli)
1995    Ruth Orkin, ICP Exhibition
1999    Ruth Orkin, Above and Beyond
2005   Ruth Orkin, American Girl in Italy, The Making of a Classic
2014    Outside-Morris Engel Ruth Orkin, From Street Photography to Filmmaking, (Carlotta)

Films:

LITTLE FUGITIVE, 1953 Editor, Co-director and Co-writer
Academy Award Nomination, Best Original Screenplay
Silver Lion, Venice Film Festival
LOVERS AND LOLLIPOPS, 1955 Editor, Co-producer, Co-director and Co-writer

Awards:

3rd Prize Winner, LIFE Magazine’s Young Photographer’s Contest, 1951
Voted one of Top Ten Women Photographers in the U.S., Professional Photographers of America, 1959
1st Annual Manhattan Cultural Award, Photography, 1980
Certificate of Merit, Municipal Art Society of New York, 1984

Instructor:

School of Visual Arts, New York City, 1976-78
International Center of Photography, New York City, 1980

Chronology:

1921   Born September 3 in Boston, Massachusetts
1931   Receives first camera, 39-cent Univex
1935-39  Attends Beverly Hills High, Eagle Rock High School
1939   Bicycle trip from LA to see 1939 World’s Fair in NYC
1940   Attends LA City College for one year
1941   First messenger girl at MGM Studios
1941   Joins Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps
1943   Moves to New York, works as a nightclub photographer
1945   First assignment from The New York Times to shoot Leonard Bernstein
1945-52  Intensive freelance career for LIFE, Look, This Week, et al.,
1946-50 Photographs classical musicians at Tanglewood Music Festival,
1951  Goes to Israel on press junket with Israeli Philharmonic
In Florence, shoots her classic image,”American Girl in Italy”
1952  Marries Morris Engel in New York City
1953  LITTLE FUGITIVE nominated for Academy Award
1955   Makes second award-winning film, LOVERS AND LOLLIPOPS
1959   Son Andy born, Voted one of Top Ten Women Photographers
1961   Daughter Mary born
1965   Photography in the Fine Arts exhibit, Metropolitan Museum of Art
1974   First retrospective at Nikon House, New York City
1976-77 Instructor, School of Visual Arts
1977   First exhibition at The Witkin Gallery
1978   “A World Through My Window” published, Harper and Row
1981   “A Photo Journal”, Viking Studio Press; photo-autobiography
1983   “More Pictures From My Window” published, Rizzoli
1985    Dies January 16 in New York City

Solo Exhibitions:

1974  Nikon House, New York, NY

1977  Witkin Gallery, New York, NY

Enjay Gallery, Boston

1978  Milwaukee Ctr. of Photography, Milwaukee

Kiva Gallery, Boston

1979  University of Akron, Ohio

Afterimage Gallery, Dallas, Texas

1979  Rizzoli Gallery (thru 1985), NY

1980  Atlanta Gallery of Photography, Atlanta, Georgia

1981  Witkin Gallery, New York, NY

1982  Douglas Elliot Gallery, San Francisco

Rizzoli Gallery, Costa Mesa

1983  Equivalents Gallery, Seattle, Washington

1985  Witkin Gallery, New York, NY

1990  Photo Gallery International, Tokyo, Japan

1994  Witkin Gallery, New York, NY

1995  International Center of Photography, NY

1998  Michael Lord Gallery, Milwaukee, WI

Irving Galleries, Palm Beach, FL

1999  Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, NY

Jan Kesner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2002  Tom Blau Gallery, London, England

Sag Harbor Picture Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY

2005  Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, NY

2007  Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, Canada

Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, England

Cavalier Galleries, Nantucket, MA

Joie de Livres Gallery, Salisbury, CT

2011  Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, Canada

Lumiere Brothers, Moscow, Russia

2014  Duncan Miller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Fondazione Stelline, Milan, Italy

Group Exhibitions:

1950
Young Photographers, Museum of Modern Art NYC

1955
The Family of Man, Museum of Modern Art, NYC

1964
The World and Its People, The World’s Fair, NYC

1965
Photography in the Fine Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

1976
Photographic Crossroads: The Photo League, SUNY, New Paltz

1981
Manhattan Observed, NY Historical Society

1985
American Images, 1945-1980, Barbican Art Gallery, London
Collecting New York: Recent Acquisitions, Museum of City of NY, NYC

1986
New York: The City and Its People, Working People’s Cultural Palace, Bejing, China
Cross Examinations, Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino, California

1987
Masters of Starlight, LA County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Diamonds are Forever: Artists and Writers on Baseball, NY State Museum, Albany

1988
Master Photograhs from The Photography in the Fine Arts Exhibition, ICP, NYC

1989
The Human Element: B/W Photography, Cal State, Long Beach

1996
A History of Women Photographers, New York Public Library, New York, NYC

1997
Defining Eye: Women Photographers of the 20th Century, St. Louis Art Museum,
St. Louis, MO

2001
The City That Never Sleeps, Robert Mann Gallery, NYC

2002
Game Face, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
From Within, Howard Greenberg Gallery, NYC
Photographs We Know, David Fahey Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Jews of Brooklyn, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY

2003
Celebrating Central Park, Hirschl and Adler Galleries, NYC

2005
At the Crossroads of Desire: A Times Square Centennial, AXA Gallery, NYC
New York! New York!, Photographs Do Not Bend, Dallas, TX
From Within, Howard Greenberg Gallery, NYC

2006
American Photographers: Fine Prints Exhibition, Photo Gallery Intl., Tokyo, Japan
In Black and White: Works on Paper from the Jewish Museum Collection, NYC
Acting the Part: Photography as Theatre, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Winter in Black and White, Monroe Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
The Women of the Photo League, Higher Pictures, NYC

2007
Women Who Shot the 20th Century, Monroe Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Celluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies, Grand Central Terminal, NYC

2010
Shine, Photographs Do Not Bend, Dallas, TX
The Heartbeat of Fashion, International Center of Photography, NYC
Beyond Color, Bruce Silverstein Gallery, NYC
New York in the 40s, Tulsa Art Center, Atlanta, GA
Shout Freedom, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH

2011
Kid Kulture, Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT
Revelations, Robert Anderson Gallery, NYC
40 Exceptional Photographs, Afterimage Gallery, Dallas, TX
The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League 1936-1951, Jewish Museum, NYC

2012
The Howard Greenberg Gallery, Elysse Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland
Harlem in the City Festival, City College, New York

2013
Eye Wonder: Women Photographers in the Bank of America Collection, Cer
Modern, Ankara, Turkey

2017
Everyday Beauty, National Museum of African American History and Culture
The Photo League Exhibition, Howard Greenberg Gallery, NYC

2018   
Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection, Brooklyn Museum, NYC
Staff Picks Vll, Howard Greenberg Gallery, NYC

2019
She Persists: A Century of Women Artists in New York, Gracie Mansion, NYC
1947, Simone De Beauvoir in America, Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, NYC
The Space Between, Julie Saul Gallery, NYC
Your Mirror: Portraits from the ICP Collection, ICP, NYC

 

Articles (selected):

The Wall Street Journal: “The Enduring Heart of a Coney Island Baby”—Bruce Bennett, 2/4/2013

Smithsonian Magazine: “Innocence Abroad” —David Schonauer, 10/2011

The New York Times: “Beyond That Single, Famous Picture” —Charles Hagen 6/2/95

Boston Herald: “Engel, Orkin forged path for indies” —Paul Sherman 7/13/95

Chicago Sun-Times: “Orkin-This Woman Has Eyes” —David Elliott 12/16/79

Dallas Times Herald: “The World Beats a Path to Ruth Orkin’s Window” —Bill Marvel 10/24/79

LA Weekly: “The Films of Morris Engel with Ruth Orkin” 7/4/97

Los Angeles Times: “On Sidewalks of New York: Another Era’s Charm” —Susan King 7/10/97

The Los Angeles Times: “We Are Not a Muse” —Burt Prelutsky 8/28/77

The New York Times: “Photographer Puts Her Career in Perspective” —Nan Robertson 10/5/79

The New York Times: “Candid or Contrived? The Making of a Classic” —Shaun Considine 4/30/95

Photo District News: “Goldsmith and Orkin at ICP” —Bret Senft 7/95

Popular Photography: “Ruth Orkin: Gravure Portfolio” —Nancy Stevens, 6/77

The Toronto Star: “Out of the Picture: Bringing the Art of Ruth Orkin Back Into Focus” —Susan Walker 6/3/95

CELEBRITIES AND PERSONALITIES LIST (1940s – 1950s, unless noted)

Picture Stories
“Member of the Wedding” opening night
“Streetcar Named Desire” (on the set)
“I Love Lucy” (on the set)
“Howdee Doody” (on the set)
Arthur Rubinstein and family
Jackie Robinson and family
Marion Davies’ Hollywood party
“On the Town” rehearsals
Albert Einstein at Princeton University
ACTRESSES
Lauren Bacall
Lucille Ball
Eva Bartok
Anne Baxter
Shirley Booth
Leslie Caron
Katherine Cornell
Marion Davis
Doris Day
Irene Dunne
Nanette Fabray
Gracie Fields
Geraldine Fitzgerald
Joan Fontaine
Ava Gardner
Barbara Bell Geddes
Bonita Granville
Julie Harris
Dorothy McGuire
Debbie Reynolds
Marjorie Steel
Gene Tierney
Lana Turner
Ethel Waters
Teresa Wright
ACTORS
Fred Allen
Woody Allen
Humphrey Bogart
Marlon Brando
Montgomery Clift
Wally Cox
Gary Grant
Rex Harrison
Ronald Howard
Van Johnson
Danny Kaye
Burt Lancaster
Peter Lawford
Fred MacMurray
Fredric March
Robert Montgomery
David Niven
Donald O’Connor
Gerald O’Loughlin
Basil Rathbone
Red Skelton
Robert Taylor
Spencer Tracy
Orson Welles
DIRECTORS
Vittorio Di Sica
Alfred Hitchcock
Elia Kazan
Guthrie McClintic
Joseph Mankiewicz
WRITERS
W.H. Auden
Ludwig Bemmelmans
John Canada
Carson McCullers
Tennessee Williams
1960s-1980s
Woody Allen
Jimmy Breslin
President Jimmy Carter
Carol Channing
Judy Collins
Kirk Douglas
Jane Jacobs
Paul O’Dwyer
Carly Simon
COMPOSERS
Samuel Barber
Marc Blitzstein
Benjamin Britten
Aaron Copland
Ulysses Kaye
Darius Milhaud
William Schuman
Igor Stravinsky
Virgil Thompson
VIOLINISTS
Mischa Elman
Carol Glenn
Jascha Heifetz
Yehudi Menuhin
Nathan Milstein
Albert Spaulding
Isaac Stern
CONDUCTORS
Sir Thomas Beecham
Leonard Bernstein
Pierre Boulez
Sir Adrian Boult
Walter Hendl
Serge Koussevitzky
Edmund Kurtz
Lorin Maazel
Dimitri Mitropoulos
Pierre Monteux
Eugene Ormandy
Paul Paray
Fritz Reiner
Sigmund Romberg
Alexander Smallens
William Steinberg
Leopold Stokowski
PIANISTS
Claudio Arrau
Lukas Foss
Gary Graffman
Jose Iturbi
William Kappell
Oscar Levant
Eugene Liszt
Arthur Rubinstein
VOCALISTS
Marion Anderson
Carol Brice
Lotte Lehman
Ezio Pinza
Robert Rounseville
Eleanor Steber