A native of New York City, PAULA KOTIS studied psychology at Hunter College, graduating in 1943. She learned photographic skills from her father in his Upper East Side portrait studio. Immersing herself in this work and eventually taking charge of the studio, Kotis began to produce and receive notice for her own pictures.
Ms. Kotis studied the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and others and commenced to produce a powerful body of photographs taken in New York and throughout Europe. In 1948 she made a remarkable series of images documenting the journey of Jewish Holocaust survivors for displaced persons camps near Famagusta, Cyprus to the port of Haifa in northern Israel.
Ms. Kotis moved to Greenwich Village in the early 1950’s where her friends were actors, musicians, artists and writers. She collaborated on projects with the novelist James Baldwin and the poet Frank O’Hara, and photographed jazz greats including Sarah Vaughan and Charlie Parker. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Ebony, Arts, Evergreen Review and U.S. Camera.