Zofia Nasierowska: who was the Polish photographer being celebrated by Google Doodle?

The famous photographer was also married Polish film director Janusz Majewski

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Today’s Google Doodle (24 April) celebrates Polish photographer Zofia Nasierowska, transforming the Google logo into a film camera with a portrait of Nasierowska in its viewfinder. 

As always, the date that a particular Google Doodle appears is always significant to its subject, and today is no different - today marks what would have been Nasierowska’s 85th birthday.

This is everything you need to know. 

Who was Zofia Nasierowska?

Nasierowska was a Polish photographer who is considered to be one of the most significant Polish photographers of her time. Nasierowska specialised in portrait photography and claimed a number of awards around the globe for her work. 

Born on 24 April 1938 in Łomianki, Poland, Nasierowska started learning the basics of photography at the age of seven thanks to her father, Eugeniusz Nasierowski, who himself was a famous photographer. While studying at the Leon Schiller National Film School in Łódź, Nasierowska had already begun to build a reputation for herself as a photographer, with her friends and classmates at the time acting as the first subjects of her emerging portrait photography. 

In Fotobiografia, Nasierowska said: “I chose girls who, like me, did not feel beautiful beings. My first portraits amazed me: They are beautiful! They just don't know themselves.”

Zofia Nasierowska self-portrait (Photo: Biblioteka.elk)Zofia Nasierowska self-portrait (Photo: Biblioteka.elk)
Zofia Nasierowska self-portrait (Photo: Biblioteka.elk)

Focusing on portrait photography, Nasierowska shot the portraits of a number of Polish artists throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including actresses Beata Tyszkiewicz and Krystyna Janda, directors Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Roman Polański and Tadeusz Konwicki, singers Anna German and Anna Jantar and many others.

Her photos were used as covers for a variety of publications and magazines, including Ekran, Zwierciadłoa and Przekrój to name a few. 

In 1956, Nasierowska was inducted into the International Federation of Photographic Art after being invited as a member of the Związek Polskich Artystów Fotografików (ZPAF, or the Association of Polish Art Photographers).

Following a 35 year long career, Nasierowska stopped taking photographs due to eye disease. She moved to Ełk in Masuria with her husband and worked to help develop the community - as such, the city’s library was renamed in her honour. 

Was she married?

In 1960, Nasierowska married Polish film director Janusz Majewski and remained together until her death in 2011. Together the couple had two children, Anna and Pawel. 

Portrait of Zofia Nasierowska by by Wojciech Łaski (Photo: Culture.pl)Portrait of Zofia Nasierowska by by Wojciech Łaski (Photo: Culture.pl)
Portrait of Zofia Nasierowska by by Wojciech Łaski (Photo: Culture.pl)

When did she die?

Nasierowska passed away on 3 October 2011 in Warsaw, Poland, at the age of 73. According to Polish news outlet Fakt, Nasierowska died from brain cancer. 

She was buried in the Aleja Zasłużonych at the Military Cemetery in Powązki and her funeral was attended by a number of Polish celebrities, such as Magdalena Zawadzka, Wojciech Pszoniak, Maja Komorowska, Emilia Krakowska, Marian Opania and Wiktor Zborowski.