Ruth Gruber, Photojournalist celebrates the life, vision, and heroic tenacity of one of the 20th century's great humanitarians and photojournalists. Born in 1911 to Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn, Gruber was the youngest PhD in the world when she became the first journalist to travel to the Soviet Arctic and Siberian Gulag, in 1935. A celebrated author, lecturer, and intrepid correspondent, Gruber was appointed by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes in 1941 to report on conditions in the Alaska Territory. She captured some of the earliest color images of Alaska's vast frontier, lives and customs of the native population, and conditions and experiences of American soldiers. In 1944, during the Second World War, Gruber stewarded the ship Henry Gibbins on a secret U.S. government mission that brought nearly 1,000 Jewish refugees from Europe to the U.S. Gruber subsequently shifted her attention to the lives of refugees and to issues of rescue, sanctuary, and liberation. In 1947, Gruber's iconic photographs documenting the harrowing voyage of Exodus 1947, a ship carrying Jewish refugees attempting to break the British blockade on immigration to Palestine were sent to wire services throughout the world and significantly impacted perceptions of the plight of Jews seeking to enter Palestine.
Organized by Consulting Curator Maya Benton, and drawn from Gruber's private archive, this exhibition includes never-before-seen color photographs and vintage prints, made over more than half a century, on four continents, alongside contemporary prints made from her original negatives. Gruber is a recipient of the 2011 ICP Infinity Awards Cornell Capa Award.
Ruth Gruber, Photojournalist is available for tour. If you are interested in hosting the exhibition at your museum, or to reserve a slot on a tour, please contact us at [email protected] or 212.857.9738.
Content: 62 framed black-and-white and color photographs (vintage and contemporary), 2 films, 20 vitrine objects
Approximately running length: 180 feet/56 meters
Past Tour Venues
Anchorage Museum of Alaska | Anchorage, Alaska
November 2, 2012–January 6, 2013
Illinois Holocaust Museum | Skokie, Illinois
February 16–Jun 1, 2014
JCC | New York, New York
December 9, 2014–February 25, 2015
Brooklyn College Library | Brooklyn, New York
October 1, 2015–February 12, 2016
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education | Portland, Oregon
March 10–June 19, 2016