Ellen Thorbecke – From Peking to Paris


Lecturis – 2021

Journalist and photographer Ellen Thorbecke (1902–1973) spent most of the 1930s in China, working as a correspondent for newspapers in Berlin. She made series of portraits and photographed street scenes in Peking (now Beijing), Shanghai, and Hong Kong, as well as in rural areas. This material formed the basis of five books that reflect an unbiased and unbridled curiosity about people at all levels of Chinese society. Her energy and wealth of artistic talent led to an unconventional life of global travel and prolific camera work, both during and after the turbulent interwar period. Many of her pictures from Palestine, Paris, and the Netherlands also appear, some for the first time.

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