Eva Lowenherz Collection
Scope and Contents
The Eva Lowenherz Collection is divided into two series for written and visual materials respectively:
Within Series I the folders are arranged alphabetically. Highlights include Eva’s childhood Autograph Book (album amicorum, folder 1/3) from 1925-1927, containing poems and sentiments in German from her friends and/or classmates, and a few stickers and drawings. One short inscription in ballpoint pen is dated 1968. Folder 1/4, Biographical, contains an assortment of items from Eva’s life after emigrating to New York (with one undated document handwritten in German, possibly from when she was still in Germany). The earliest dated item in the biographical folder is a 1937 letter of introduction from Max G. Lowenherz on behalf of a Miss Eve Conant (presumably a professional alias for Eva), indicating that she was then working with his agency, probably shortly before they were married. Also from 1937 is a catalog from the “Fourth International Salon” in New York, sponsored by the Pictorial Photographers of America, listing one photograph from the exhibition by Eva Cohnreich. Dating to 1946 are sets of tourist postcards from Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park. In the 1950s there are letters from the administrators of Teela-Wooket, the summer camp daughters Claire and Peggy attended in Vermont, and a profile of Eva and her travels as a photographer in The Larchmont Times. A 1997 yearbook, in German, from the Schloss Reichersbeuern Max-Rill-Schule, includes a memorial article about Eva’s life and her involvement with the school in the 1970s. The article quotes from an earlier statement Eva had written in Aufbau, and from a letter Eva wrote to the school explaining why she decided to spend a year working and living with students in Germany despite disapproval from family and friends: During her decades in the United States Eva had remained interested and informed about “the German [… culture and] politics, and now wanted to see” what it was like in Germany at that time. There is a photograph album in Series II which documents her time there.
The majority of the documents in Series I are Correspondence – letters to and from friends from the 1930s to 1950 (folder 1/7); between Eva and her first husband, Max Lowenherz, 1938-1960, when he was travelling for business during their marriage (folder 1/8); and correspondence, poems and other documents between Eva and her fiancé Peter Sterk, primarily 1987 (folders 1/11 and 1/12). The last folder in Series I, folder 1/13, contains five Diaries, 1987-1991.
Series II contains photographs and photograph albums. There are four folders of Photographs of family and friends, many undated. Folder 1/14, circa 1916-1957, contains photographs of Eva from childhood in Germany, and with Max after emigrating. Folder 1/15 is mostly Eva and Max’s children, especially Claire. Later in Series II there is an album of a trip to Europe with Eva, Max, and probably Peggy and David, from circa late 1950s. Folder 1/16, circa 1910s-1930s, contains unidentified pre-war family and friends; one grouping are probably photographs of Eva’s parents. Included are negatives of Eva, Max and Claire from early in the marriage; two larger negatives may be earlier, in Germany; one negative of Claire as a teen/young woman with a snow sculpture is in color. Folder 1/17, circa 1970s-1992, documents Eva’s travels and visits after her marriage to Max, and during her engagement to Peter Sterk.
There are nine Photograph Albums in the collection. The five pre-WWII albums reveal Eva’s developing interest in photography, and her interest in creating documentary stories of people and places. Only some of these albums have captions, like the albums in folders 1/18, “Sommer 1930”, and 1/19 (which includes a cruise to England with Eva and her parents). “Sommer 1935” in folder 1/21 documents travels to the Alps and other European landscapes and also contains captions, which the remaining albums do not. The small green album in folder 1/22 appears to be from various visits and travels, likely in the United States, around the time of Eva and Max’s wedding, circa 1937-1938. Some of the photographs are duplicated or similar to loose photographs with those dates in folder 1/14.
The four post-war albums include a family trip to Europe aboard a large ship, picturing Eva and Max and probably middle daughter Peggy and son David, circa late 1950s-early 1960s. This album is oversized and housed with oversized materials. Pictured are Eva and most likely students and staff at school and in the mountains; the album ends with images of buildings in Manhattan. Two small albums document daughter Claire’s wedding, and the photographs retained from her 1987 relationship and engagement with Peter Sterk. Related loose photographs with Peter Sterk are in folder 1/17.
- undated, 1910s-1998
- Lowenherz Buck, Eva, 1914-1996 (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is mainly in German with frequent English and some Italian.
Conditions Governing Access
Open to researchers. Items in folder 1/5 are restricted.
Conditions Governing Use
There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection.
Eva Cohnreich was born December 27, 1914 in Berlin, Germany to Max and Alice (née Heitinger) Cohnreich. After graduating from high school Eva started improving her photography skills in Berlin, later traveling to England and Romania to pursue related art processes and to continue her photography. She left Europe circa 1934 and reunited with her parents in 1936, probably when they had all arrived in New York (from Schloss Reichersbeuern Max-Rill-Schule, Jahresheft 1997 in Folder 1/4). In New York Eva found a position working in the darkroom at Time, Inc., where she was involved with the many photographs in Life magazine beginning with its first issue in 1936. By 1937 Eva had begun to take her own “picture stories”, working with the Three Lions picture agency (from Ralph Elias, “Speaker at ‘Workshop’ Says Press Cameraman ‘Not Made’”, The Larchmont Times, January 17, 1952 in Folder 1/4).
In about 1938 Eva married one of the owners of Three Lions, Max G. Lowenherz (The other two owners were Max’s brothers, Walter and Heinz.) They lived in New York City and later moved to Larchmont, New York. Their oldest daughter, Claire (later Claire Brunner), was born in 1939 and became a public school teacher; Margaret (Peggy, later Margaret Stolowitz), born in 1942, was a nurse; and their son David was born in 1951. David opened his company, Lion Heart Autographs, Inc. in 1978. Max and Eva were divorced circa 1965, and Eva moved back to New York City with David, who was still in school.
In the 1975/1976 school year and the first half of 1979, Eva worked as an educator and a "Hausmutter" in the German boarding school, Schloss Reichersbeuern Max-Rill Schule.
In 1987 Eva met a fellow German-Jewish émigré who lived in New England, Peter Sterk; they soon became engaged to marry. They wrote many letters and poems to each other during this time. However, shortly before they were to be married, on July 29, 1987, Peter died in an automobile accident. The following year Eva married Martin Buck, whom she had known before meeting Peter. Eva died on September 25, 1996 in New York City, and she was buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Westchester county, north of New York City.
1 Linear Feet
2 Folders (2 oversized folders)
Series I includes correspondence with friends in Germany in the mid-1930s; and with personal relations, 1930s-1960s and 1987.
Series II holds photographs and albums from pre-war Europe, some with captions (circa 1929-1935), as well as albums of travel and leisure, 1950s-1960s. Also included is documentation of a year Eva spent in Bavaria in 1975/1976 as an educator at a boarding school; this album is oversized and housed with oversized materials.
The collection is arranged in two series:
- Series I: Documents, Correspondence and Printed Materials, undated, 1925-1998
- Series II: Photographs and Photograph Albums, undated, 1910s-1987
3 items have been transferred to the Art and Objects collection:
Portrait of David Lowenherz (1915) – the father of Max Lowenherz;
Portrait of Max G. Lowenherz by Eugen Spiro (1951);
Small box with 2 engraved metal plates with Eva Lowenherz’s name and initials, 1985
Mixed in with the 1987 letters in Folder 1/12 were dried rose petals from 1989 in a white envelope, labeled "Rosenblätter für meinen Geliebten". The envelope was retained but the rose petals were not, evidence of Eva’s memories of her fiancé, Peter, two years after his death.
Most materials were not in folders; they were arranged in a logical order in archival folders, and folder titles created. Fragile documents and loose photographs were placed in archival sleeves, either archival paper or archival polyester. Oversized photograph albums were placed in an oversized box. Rose petals were removed from an envelope and the envelope was retained. One small box of ephemera was transferred to the Art and Objects Collection. Photograph albums were wrapped in archival tissue and tied with archival cotton taping, as was Eva’s autograph book.
- Alba amicorum
- Berlin (Germany)
- Cohnreich family
- Jews, German
- Larchmont (N.Y.)
- Lion Heart Autographs
- Lowenherz, Claire
- Lowenherz, David H.
- Lowenherz, Max G.
- Lowenherz, Peggy
- Man-woman relationships
- New York (N.Y.)
- Photograph albums
- Reichersbeuern (Germany)
- Schloss Reichersbeuern (Reichersbeuern, Germany)
- Three Lions Picture Agency
- Voyages and travels
- Processed by Susan Woodland
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States