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Mariana Yampolsky was born near Chicago in 1925 and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1944. She moved to Mexico in 1945, and became a Mexican citizen in 1954. Yampolsky was a member of the Popular Graphic Arts Workshop, working as a printer and engraver, and she eventually became the first woman elected to their board of directors. In the late 1940s, she began experimenting with photography, taking her first class from Lola Álvarez Bravo. She worked for a number of years with the Ministry of Education, publishing a children’s magazine series. Her works have appeared in over 45 solo exhibitions and 110 group exhibitions all over the world, and her photographs reside in 16 major collections. The Wittliff Collections house over 250 photographs by Yampolsky.
She played an important role in building the Wittliff’s contemporary Mexican photography archive. In 1994, Yampolsky met with Connie Todd (then assistant to founder Bill Wittliff) in Mexico City to discuss Bill Wittliff’s idea of a Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection. Yampolsky put them in touch with virtually every outstanding photographer in the country. She also talked to the artists themselves, enthusiastically promoting the project, and in so doing, authenticated what was then a little-known repository to the Mexican photographic community. The Wittliff’s Mexican photography archive has since become one of the largest in the nation. Mariana Yampolsky died in 2002. .