Dorothy Bohm (1924-)

Photographer Dorothy Bohm was born Dorothea Israelit in 1924 to a Jewish Lithuanian family in East Prussia.

“The photograph fulfils my deep need to stop things from disappearing. It makes transience less painful and retains something of the special magic, which I have looked for and found. I have tried to create order out of chaos, to find stability in flux and beauty in the most unlikely places” Dorothy Bohm

Torn Poster, London (1990) part of the Ben Uri permanent collection

Torn Poster, London

Dorothy Bohm biography

Photographer Dorothy Bohm was born Dorothea Israelit in 1924 to a Jewish Lithuanian family in East Prussia.

In 1939 she was sent to England to escape the Nazi regime. She studied photography at the Manchester Municipal College of Technology. She met her future husband Louis Bohm in Manchester, and they married in 1945.

The following year Bohm set up her own portrait studio, Studio Alexander, having worked under photographer Samuel Cooper for several years.

Bohm travelled widely with her husband. During the 1950s they lived in Paris, New York and San Francisco and visited much of Europe and the USA.

She worked exclusively with black and white film at this stage, and first experimented with colour photography in the late 1950s. Bohm only started to work exclusively in colour in the 1980s.

Bohm settled in Hampstead, North London in 1956, where she still lives.

By the 1960s Bohm had abandoned studio portraiture almost exclusively in favour of street photography. In 1971 she co-founded of The Photographers’ Gallery and became its Associate Director for the next 15 years.

In 1998 she founded Focus Gallery for Photography, Bloomsbury, London. Dorothy Bohm was appointed Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in 2009.

Find out more:

Touring Ben Uri exhibition: Ambiguous Realities, Colour Photographs by Dorothy Bohm

Shop: Purchase the Ambiguous Realities catalogue here

Blog: A look at Dorothy Bohm, 13 March 2013

External links

Dorothy Bohm official website

Tate Shots: Video interview with Dorothy Bohm, 2011