by Yona Zeldis McDonough

The Life and Photograph of Doris Uhmann

BORN IN 1882 into to a prosperous, assimilated German-Jewish family, Doris May Ulmann studied at the Ethical Culture School in Manhattan, where the ideals of its founder, Dr. Felix Adler, made a deep impression upon her; faith in the worth of every human being and the conviction that differences contribute to a democratic society. When as a married woman Ulmann took up photography, it was Adler who guided her toward many of her subjects: Appalachians, Africans and Native Americans. In The Life and Photography of Doris lmann (Philip Walker Jacobs, The University of Kentucky Press, $40), we see that a substantial portion of her professional life was dedicated to honoring and documenting the lives of people outside the mainstream of a rapidly developing American industrial culture.

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