Lette Valeska

Painting, Visual Artist

1885 – 1985

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Who was Lette Valeska?

Lette Valeska was a photographer, painter and sculptor in the Hollywood community. When her husband's chemical plant was confiscated by the Nazi regime, she left her homeland of Germany and traveled with her husband and daughter before moving to New York City in 1937. In 1938 she left her husband and moved to Los Angeles, where she spent the rest of her life. She began a photographic career of children's portraits and quickly gained notoriety among Hollywood stars. She worked as an archivist for the Pasadena Art Museum's Blue Four Collection. At the end of World War II, she organized a friendship correspondence between children in California and Ryswyck, Holland out of gratitude for Ryswyck citizens' assistance to holocaust refugees. At age 50, Valeska began painting and at age 70 began sculpting. She was featured in the Emmy award winning NBC documentary "The Heart Is Not Wrinkled" in 1969.

Valeska's photographs were always taken at her subjects' homes rather than a studio, a method she used to capture real people alive in their own environments. Never having been formally trained as an artist, her artwork expresses her soul rather than technical proficiency.

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Aug 20, 1885
Jan 8, 1985

on July 23, 2013


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