Gertrudes Altschul
Berlim, Alemanha 1904 - São Paulo, Brasil 1962

Gertrudes Altschul

was born in Germany in 1904, and as many Jews who noticed a threat to the survival in the scaling of Nazism, leaves Germany in 1936 and arrives in 1939 to the capital of São Paulo.

In the late of 1940s, she starts to participate in the meetings of the Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante - FCCB. Feminine representative of the photographer group who consolidate the notion of modern photography in Brazil. Her contribution was done in an effective way, inventing and recreating forms by means of overlapping and manipulation of images in the laboratory, tending to the abstract. In the “Composição II” she rebuts the same negative in the photographic copy, technique used in the photograph “Sem título”, 1960, published in the book “A Fotografia Moderna no Brasil”, and commented in an article of 1948 written by Jacob Polacow, in the FCCB-Bulletin. The production of Gertrudes coincides with the institutionalization phase of the photography in São Paulo.


In 1947, the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo organizes the exhibition of Thomaz Farkas and, in 1950, Geraldo de Barros exhibits in MASP –Museu de Arte de São Paulo. In the following years, her production is recognized with the publishing of her works in the FCCB Bulletin and its Yearbook. She participates actively of the circuit of photographic exhibitions, such as the 2º Salão de Arte Fotográfica, organized by the Foto Cine Clube de Jaboticabal (1954, receiving the honourable mention), 1º Salão Nacional de Arte Fotográfica de Santos (1955, getting the honour diploma), 6º Salão de Arte, organized by the Sociedade Fluminense de Fotografia (1957, receiving the merit award), and also Photokina – International Exhibition of Photography and Cinema of Colony, Germany, in 1955.

In 2015 under curatorship of Isabel Amado, Gertrudes works are exhibited in Casa da Imagem in São Paulo, for the first time a set of her vintages photographs, cameras, albums and contact sheets are showed to the public. Since the visit of the Sarah Meister, photography curator of MoMA, to the exhibition, it started the process of acquisition of 10 photographs for the museum. (

Gertrudes Altschul photographs are included in the collections of Instituto Cultural Itaú, TATE Modern of London, MASP – Museu de Arte de São Paulo, MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art