(Teaneck, New Jersey, 1935 - )
Lives New York
Active as a photographer, photo editor and educator, Joan Liftin received a BS in Journalism from Ohio State University. She began her photography career in 1971, when she was hired by UNICEF as the chief photographer and photo editor of their publications. In 1988, she became the director of the Documentary and Photojournalism Education Program at the International Center of Photography in New York City and was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship.
Liftin’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Boston Museum of Contemporary Art and the Plains Art Museum, MN, among others. One series of photographs, featuring drive-in movie theaters across the country, was collected in the publication Drive-Ins (2004). Liftin’s photographs often tell stories, sometimes tinged in nostalgia, as is the case in Drive-Ins, and other times with uncompromising realism, as in the touring exhibition Indivisible: Stories of American Community (2000 – 2001). For Indivisible, Liftin documented a Haitian immigrant community in Florida overcoming their distrust of the police to help end violence in their town.