Larsen, Lisa (1925 - 1959)
Born in Germany, Lisa Larsen moved to the United States as a teenager and promptly became a freelance photographer for many publications such as Vogue, Glamour and in particular, Life. At the beginning, she was mostly assigned entertainment and fashion stories, depicting Hollywood stars, Grace Kelly in New York before she embarked for Monaco, John F.Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier’s wedding but also America’s youth. Soon, her work became more political and the German photographer turned into a pioneering female photojournalist (before prematurely dying from breast cancer), travelling around the world, always eager to depict emotional, realistic, warm and sympathetic portraits: ‘I feel it is very important to know your subjects as individuals. Ideally this takes time – and often you don’t have time. You work under pressure… I dislike superficial and I especially dislike superficial relationships’. She became a favorite of the Russian leader, Nikita Khrushchev who, during one of his anti-Western speeches, once declared: ‘Don’t misunderstand me. There is an American girl standing in front of me. Americans are good people.’
The good American girl was Lisa Larsen.
Photographs by Lisa Larsen