Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Ida Kaminska

signature image

Unknown artist. Ida Kaminska in a role from the film Gots strof (God's Punishment) 1919. Yivo Institute. Image: Yivo Insitute. From Ida Kaminska (1899-1980): Grande Dame of the Yiddish Theater (website)

Ida Kaminska
b. 1899, Odessa, Ukraine; d. 1980, New York

Born into an illustrious theatrical family—her mother was called "the Yiddish Duse"—Ida Kaminska began acting in 1916, becoming a leading player in the Warsaw Yiddish Art Theater. She starred in numerous Warsaw productions until 1919 and then toured throughout Russia, returning to Poland in 1921 to establish the Ida Kaminska Theater. With complete control of the repertoire, she directed and starred in most of the company's productions. In the 1920s and 1930s, she acted in a number of films, including A Vilna Legend (1924) and Without a Home (1939). During World War II, she again performed in the Soviet Union and at the end of the war founded the Jewish State Theater in her native country. Her role in the Czech film The Shop on Main Street (1965) earned an Academy Award nomination. The official anti-Semitic campaign launched by the Polish government compelled her move to the United States in 1968 but, failing in her attempts to establish a Yiddish theater in America, she eventually settled in Israel. In 1973, she published the autobiography, My Life, My Theatre.

Related Place Setting

Georgia O'Keeffe

Related Heritage Floor Entries

Dorothy Arzner
Marie Bashkirtsev
Sarah Bernhardt
Rosa Bonheur
Julia Cameron
Emily Carr
Mary Cassatt
Imogen Cunningham
Sonia Delaunay
Maya Deren
Isadora Duncan
Eleanor Duse
Edith Evans
Natalia Goncharova
Martha Graham
Eileen Gray
Sophia Haydn
Katharine Hepburn
Barbara Hepworth

Hannah Hoch
Harriet Hosmer
Frida Kahlo
Gertrude Kasebier
Kathe Kollwitz
Dorothea Lange
Marie Laurencin
Mary Louise McLaughlin
Paula Modersohn-Becker
Julia Morgan
Berthe Morisot
Gabriele M√ľnter
Louise Nevelson
Elizabeth Ney
Anna Pavlova
Augusta Savage
Sophie Taeuber-Arp
Suzanne Valadon