Over the past few months, together with Hatje Cantz and Lecta/Cartiere del Garda, we have been working on a truly exciting project: the creation of a short film documenting the genesis of an art book.

The film delves into the world of art and bookmaking.

From the vibrant streets of Berlin to the meticulous printing and binding workshops in Trento, and finally to the prestigious paper mills in Riva del Garda, we invite you to join us on an enchanting journey through the creation of Ruth Orkin’s remarkable publication, Women.

Learn more about the exciting transformation from the long undiscovered photographic negative to the printed book.

Get to know the many specialists it takes to translate high-quality photographs onto the medium of paper and present the result of this love story to the public just in time for the opening of the exhibition Ruth Orkin – Women at f³ – Freiraum für Fotografie.

American photographer, photojournalist, and filmmaker Ruth Orkin (1921–1985) grew up in Hollywood as the daughter of a silent film actress. She went on to be one of the first women to study photojournalism at Los Angeles City College. In 1943 Orkin moved to New York City, working as a freelance photojournalist. Her photographs appeared in The New York TimesLIFE, LookLadies’ Home Journal, and other publications.


Her American Girl in Italy–the street scene with the whistling Italians–is an icon. Now sensational negatives and slides have surfaced from the archive that reveal a little-known side of Ruth Orkin: that of the sensitive, interested, witty chronicler of the women’s world of the 1940s and 1950s. Orkin thought up editorials like the tongue-in-cheek reportage Who works harder? comparing the lives of a career woman and a housewife. She documented the hustle and bustle in beauty salons and at cocktail parties, at dog shows and on Hollywood film sets.

We meet Lauren Bacall, Jane Russell, Joan Taylor or Doris Day, but also waitresses, stewardesses and female soldiers, as wall as groups of female friends.

“What emerges is the image of women on the move, women who are beginning to cast off the conventions imposed on them, going their own way: self-confident, stylish, smart.” (Nadine Barth, Editor)

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