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0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8ca00001NHPR began broadcasting in 1981, and in the intervening years has documented the the stories of New Hampshire. From policy makers in Concord, to residents around the state affected by those policies; from notable Granite Staters, to our ordinary neighbors with a good story, NHPR has produced compelling radio for New Hampshire, by New Hampshire. These stories are the components of the NHPR archives, and on this blog we'll dust off some old stories that are newly relevant, and even find some that were never broadcast. We hope to demonstrate how we've changed as a state by charting our narrative on a longer scale.

NHPR's Rewind: Lotte Jacobi's New Hampshire Life

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Courtesy Sebastien Wiertz via flickr/creative commons
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August 17th, 2016 marks the day that photographer Lotte Jacobi would have celebrated her 120th birthday. Internationally lauded, Jacobi’s work earned her the praise of many noteworthy figures in history, leading to jobs photographing international icons like Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and J.D. Salinger. Despite her success on the global stage, she spent 45 years enjoying a quiet, rural life offered by Deering, New Hampshire.

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Credit © Lotte Jacobi collection, University of New Hampshire
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Portrait of Robert Frost by Lotte Jacobi

The artist left her mark on the granite state in many ways, such as photographing our beloved Robert Frost. She was also named Honorary Curator of Photography at the Currier Museum of Art, about a decade after her photography was first exhibited there. Shortly after she passed away on May 6th, 1990, NHPR Arts Reporter Phillip Bragdon (who remembers Jacobi fondly as one of his “more vocal listeners”) explored the impact Jacobi had on photography as an art form.

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Credit © Lotte Jacobi collection, University of New Hampshire
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Lotte Jacobi

The spirit of Jacobi and her dedication to art lives on through The Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure Award. As the inaugural recipient in 1980, the award was later named for her, and honors New Hampshire’s artists. Other winners include Karl Drerup, Donald Hall, TomidePaola, and Rawn Spearman. Alongside her contributions to the practice of portrait photography, Jacobi also expanded photography as an art form through her development of “photogenics” in the 1950s—a method of selectively using light filtered through glass or other transparent materials to create abstract images and landscapes on photographic paper, without ever actually using a camera. 

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