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Flashes of inspiration

As a retrospective of photographer Elsbeth Juda’s work goes on display at London’s Jewish Museum, we take a peek at some of her iconic images

Shelagh Wilson with a parrot, Copacabana beach, 1951
Shelagh Wilson with a parrot, Copacabana beach, 1951

From Margot Fonteyn, Winston Churchill and Henry Moore, to Britain’s first supermodel, Barbara Goalen, photographer Elsbeth Juda was responsible for capturing some of the biggest icons of the 20th century, writes Francine Wolfisz.

Now a new retrospective of this trailblazer is on display at the Jewish Museum until July.

Known professionally as Jay, Juda was best known for her work from The Ambassador magazine over a career spanning 45 years as a commercial photographer.

Born in Germany in 1911, she and her husband Hans fled the Nazis in 1933. In 1946, Hans relaunched the established trade journal International Textiles as The Ambassador magazine, focused on promoting British fashion, art, culture, trade and industry for the global export market.

With Hans as editor and Juda as in-house photographer and associate editor, The Ambassador was published monthly with subscribers in more than 90 countries.

This exhibition, organised in collaboration with L’Equipment des Art, showcases her glamourous commercial shots and portraits of some of the best-known British faces in the 1950s and 1960s.

υ  Elsbeth Juda: Grit and Glamour runs until 1 July
at the Jewish Museum London. Curator talks will
be held on 9 April, 14 May and 11 June, 2pm.

Details: jewishmuseum.org.uk

Peter Blake with model Marie-Lise Gres in his studio 1961
Shelagh Wilson in playsuit, Copacabana beach, Brazil, 1951

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Goalen with Calico Printers’ Association board members, 1950
Winston Churchill sitting for Graham Sutherland, 1954
Shelagh Wilson with a parrot, Copacabana beach, 1951
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