“A photograph is an abstract of life; the camera is a vehicle to explore, a tool to capture and reveal an essence of being. Sometimes I feel as if I’m looking into someone else’s mirror only to see my own reflection. In one sense we seem so interchangeable, yet in another so steadfast.”
More About Joan
Joan Roth is a street photographer, ethnographer, portraitist, and photojournalist. Since the 1970s, she has made visible Jewish women around the world, advocated for homeless women, and captured the U.S. Women’s Movement, feminist events, political rallies, and the International Women’s Conferences in Nairobi and Beijing. Joan used her photography to affect change for women who wouldn’t otherwise be seen.
Joan began her career as a dedicated Black and White photographer who was influenced by Diane Arbus, Lisette Model, and Sid Kaplan. With the advent of digital imaging, Roth’s ongoing 35-millimeter black and white negative archival prints transformed into color digital images, creating an added dimension of color photos, and giving her later prints a whole new look.
Joan’s photos have been exhibited internationally in numerous museums and galleries and showcased in magazines, books, and articles.
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Career Highlights and Exhibits
Subject of the documentary film A Feminist Lens: The Art and Activism of Photographer Joan Roth
Exhibit on Jews in Ethiopian opening The Jewish North Africa Conference in Rabat, Morocco
Photo of first Rabbi Sally Priesend featured as part of “Holy Sparks: Celebrating 50 Years of Women in the Rabbinate”
Embracing the Rituals of a Moroccan Wedding photo exhibit at the Jewish - Africa Conference organized by the American Sephardi Federation in partnership with the Center For Jewish History and Conference in New York
Photos included in the Exhibit HOMEless - Hebrew Union College Institute of Religion, Dr. Bernard Heller Museum in New York, curator, Laura Kruger
Featured Speaker on Jewish Women at the Lion of Judah Conferences in, Louisville, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio
Presented photos at The IWY National Women's Conference in Retrospect, marking the 40th Anniversary of the 1977 National Women’s Conference held in Houston
The Rose Family Haggadah Exhibit- photos included in a series of unique books featuring over sixty years of Passover themed artworks from some of the most prominent artists of the twentieth century, New York Public Library in New York City
Ima Iyla'a: The Art of Motherhood, The Divine and Earthly Mother, Jerusalem Biennale, Heichal Shlomo Art Museum
Recent Award Highlights
2022 Women of Distinction Award by New York State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright
2020 Inducted into Manhattan Jewish Hall of Fame Inductees
2014 Honored by at Project Kesher’s 25th Anniversary
2009 The Forum for Dialogue Among Nations, Study Trip to Poland, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.
2007 The Independent Press Association New York Best Photo Essay Award, 2nd Place, Yiddish Divas Take the Stage, Lilith Magazine