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Jill Freedman, Photographer Who Lingered in the Margins, Dies at 79

Jill Freedman in 2015. She captured the ache and solitude and weirdness of the American road.

The work never brought...

The work never brought her much money, nor the fame enjoyed by some of her male peers, said Anne Wilkes Tucker[1], curator emerita of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. “I don’t think she got her due at the time,” Ms. Tucker said in a phone interview in August. “She didn’t have that support group that a lot of photographers have. And we all need that.”

Ms. Freedman’s work and health both tailed off in the 1980s. With no health insurance, she received a diagnosis of breast cancer in 1988 and later broke her pelvis. She moved to Miami in 1991 and shot a series there on local strippers, but she was no longer as motivated as she had been, Marcia Schiffman said.

In addition to her and Ms. Schiffman-Sklar, Ms. Freedman is survived by several other cousins.

Ms. Freedman returned to New York after her time in Miami, to an apartment in Harlem, and talked in recent years about compiling one more photo book, to be called “Madhattan.” It would be a tribute to a wild, messy, psychotic, remarkable city that she had missed terribly.

“We used to have a great brand of crazies,” she said. Ms. Freedman was their photo booth.

Daniel E. Slotnik contributed reporting.


  1. ^ Anne Wilkes Tucker (

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