Biography: City Life photographer Ruth Orkin

Biography: City Life photographer Ruth Orkin


Ruth Orkin (3 September 1921 – 16 January 1985) was an American photographer.

Orkin moved to New York in 1943, where she worked as a nightclub photographer and shot baby pictures by day to buy her first professional camera. She worked for all the major magazines in 1940s, and also went to Tanglewood during the summers to shoot rehearsals. She ended up with many of the worlds’ greatest musicians of the time including Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Aaron Copland, Jascha Heifitz, Serge Koussevitzky and many others.

In 1951, LIFE magazine sent her to Israel with the Israeli Philharmonic. Orkin then went to Italy, and it was in Florence where she met Nina Lee Craig, an art student and fellow American, who became the subject of “American Girl in Italy.” The photograph was part of a series originally titled “Don’t Be Afraid to Travel Alone” about what they encountered as women traveling alone in Europe after the war.

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City Life photographer Ruth Orkin

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City Life photographer Ruth Orkin

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City Life photographer Ruth Orkin

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City Life photographer Ruth Orkin

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City Life photographer Ruth Orkin

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City Life photographer Ruth Orkin

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City Life photographer Ruth Orkin

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City Life photographer Ruth Orkin

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City Life photographer Ruth Orkin

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City Life photographer Ruth Orkin

City Life photographer Ruth Orkin

City Life photographer Ruth Orkin


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