[Alexander Calder, circa 1960s].
The Bernard Gotfryd Photograph Collection spans the period from 1960-2008 and primarily contains portraits of prominent people and photographs of New York City, as well as material related to Gotfryd’s career as a photographer and author. Portraits include a large number of artists and literary figures as well as actors, businessmen, musicians, and politicians. Subjects include buildings, street scenes, and transportation, as well as celebrations, demonstrations and protests, funerals and other newsworthy events.
Bernard Gotfryd was born in 1924 in Radom, Poland and became interested in photography at an early age. When World War II broke out, Gotfryd found work as an apprentice in a photography studio in the Radom ghetto. While working in the studio, he began aiding the Polish underground by passing on photographs taken by Nazi officers of war atrocities. After an unsuccessful escape attempt in October 1943, Gotfryd was apprehended and shipped to Maidanek. By the wars end, Gotfryd had survived six concentration camps. In 1947, Gotfryd emigrated to the United States where he worked as a photographer and studied photojournalism. In 1957, he joined the staff of Newsweek where he worked for more than thirty years. After covering the Holocaust Survivors Gathering in Washington, D.C., in April 1983, Gotfryd was moved to write about his own experiences, which were published as a collection, titled Anton the Dove Fancier and Other Tales of the Holocaust.