As a younger woman, Ms. Lepkoff was a member of the Photo League, the pioneering movement of the 1930s and ’40s whose work is the focus of more than one current exhibition, including “The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League 1936-1951,” at the Jewish Museum.
Ms. Cherry was drawn to the Photo League because the work of its members tended to avoid the soft-focused, painterly style of the day. “I was in a fantasy world when I was a dancer,” she said. “And this was reality. And so much was going on in that period. And I wanted to be part of it.”
But while she describes her younger self as a political and radical person, she doesn’t recall thinking along those lines when she was shooting. Nor does she recall any major discussion of politics in workshops. “It was a question of doing good photography and a question of how you felt about what you were shooting; what you saw in what you were shooting,” she said. “There was nothing political about it.” “It was human. It was human, and it was art.”