Street Photography: Lisette Model

Lisette Model (born Elise Amelie Felicie Stern; November 10, 1901 – March 30, 1983) was an Austrian-born American photographer primarily known for the frank humanism of her street photography. A prolific photographer in the 1940s and a member of the New-York cooperative Photo League, she was published in PM’s Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar, and US Camera before taking up teaching in 1949 through the intermediary of Ansel Adams.

She taught at the New School for Social Research in New York from 1951 until her death in 1983 with many notable students, the most famous of whom was Diane Arbus. Her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions and still resides in several permanent collections, including that of the National Gallery of Canada and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Self Portrait, 1940s.

One of her many photographic interests was the use of reflections in shop windows.

She was also known for her photos of people who were not conventionally attractive.

48 thoughts on “Street Photography: Lisette Model

  1. (1) “As soon as I’m done with this photo, I’m taking a shower. And, by the way, I highly recommend the Bates Motel. Norman is such a sweetheart!”
    (2) “I don’t mind the guys window shopping here at the Bon Marché brothel, but the price tag Madam put on me doesn’t accurately reflect the quality of my services!”
    (3) “They already took 70% off, and that guy still doesn’t notice me!” (Another 30% off, and she’ll be totally naked. Maybe then?)
    (4) “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” — in this scene, her hand is preparing to squeeze someone to death!
    (5) She’s not even remotely attractive!
    (6) “I’ve drunk so much white wine, I don’t even know what I’m eating!”
    (7) “I hate to rain on your parade, Mr. Karate, but I can break this bench in two without so much as lifting a finger! All I have to do is sit on it!”
    (8) “I think I just swallowed an angry hornet!”
    (9) “I’m still waiting to be pollinated…”
    (10) “Today, parallel lines. Tomorrow, I’m wearing parabolas!”
    (11) “If I’m going to be the goalie, can you at least give me a fishing net?”
    (12) “What do you mean? This IS my happy face!”


  2. An artist with a camera…I love the reflections and the real life as it is and not staged some great images and big brother rears its head again where will this censorship end and social media..pleeeeeese….x

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Diane Arbus is being cancelled on social media??? I guess those people didn’t get the memo that one purpose of art is to provoke, make us feel uncomfortable, and prompt reflection and discussion? And Arbus was an artist with the camera? *Facepalm*

        Liked by 1 person

All comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.