Anita Pollitzer

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Anita Pollitzer
Anita Pollitzer 156004v.jpg
Born (1894-10-31)October 31, 1894
Charleston, South Carolina
Died July 3, 1975(1975-07-03) (aged 80)
New York City
Nationality American
Occupation activist

Anita Lily Pollitzer (October 31, 1894, Charleston, South Carolina - July 3, 1975) was an American photographer, and suffragette.

Early life and Education[edit]

Anita Lily Pollitzer was born October 31, 1894 in Charleston, South Carolina.[1][2] Her mother, Clara Guinzburg Pollitzer (born Clara Guinzburg), was the daughter of an immigrant rabbi from Prague.[2] Her father, Gustave Pollitzer, ran a cotton company at Charleston, South Carolina.[2] Anita Pollitzer had two sisters, Carrie (born 1881) and Mabel (born 1885) and a brother, Richard.

Anita was raised Jewish and, as a young woman, taught Sabbath school in Charleston at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim. Despite this upbringing, she is later described as being a "nonobservant" Jew and relied upon her own strength over religious beliefs. A digital history of the Pollitzer family highlights this family story: "Mabel stated in prayer, 'God gave me mountains to climb and the strength to climb them,' to which Anita responded, 'I don’t want God to give me mountains to climb…I want to find my own.'[3]

Anita graduated from Memminger High School in 1913 and left Charleston to study art at Columbia University's Teacher's College.[1][3]

In December 1928, she married Elie Charlier Edson, Pete Seeger's uncle. The couple moved to New York City and lived in an apartment on West 115th St.

Career and National Woman's Party involvement[edit]

Pollitzer may be best known for her friendship with Georgia O'Keeffe whom she met at Columbia University.[1] Pollitzer introduced O'Keeffe to Alfred Stieglitz helping to forge one of the most significant artist relationships in the 20th century.[1] In addition to her influence in art, Pollitzer was instrumental in the passage of the 19th Amendment and held positions of leadership in the National Woman's Party serving as National Chairman from 1945 until 1949.[1]

She died on July 3, 1975, in New York City.[1]

Personal life[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Nelson, Jennifer (1 March 2009). "Anita Pollitzer". Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Anita Pollitzer (1894-1975): Officer and Organizer for Woman Suffrage". Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Anita Pollitzer". The Pollitzer Family of South Carolina. Lowcountry Digital Initiative. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 

External links[edit]

See also: Pollitzer