During her 25 year career, Dana Gluckstein has photographed iconic figures from Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev to Muhammad Ali, and produced award-winning advertising campaigns for clients such as Apple and Toyota. Yet, her vision is most vividly revealed in her photographs of indigenous peoples, many of which are in museum collections. Whether photographing a Haitian healer or a San Bushmen chief, Gluckstein infuses each portrait with an essential dignity. The late renowned Los Angeles County Museum of Art photography curator, Robert Sobieszek explained, “The portraits taken by Dana Gluckstein evidence a clear attempt to reinvest portraiture with that something that was lost some time ago. And that something is nothing less than the desire, or the requirement, to express the character and moral quality of the sitter in such a way that far more than likeness is suggested if not exactly revealed…Gluckstein bestows upon her sitters a sense of stilled dignity, a humaneness entirely devoid of any temporary, fleeting, or accidental quality.”
Gluckstein’s book, DIGNITY: In Honor of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the associated international museum exhibition, DIGNITY: TRIBES IN TRANSITION, received international acclaim.
DIGNITY, in association with Amnesty International for their 50th anniversary, helped create the “tipping point” for President Obama to adopt the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In 2011, the DIGNITY photography exhibition was presented at the United Nations in Geneva and she spoke at the World Economic Forum 2013, in Davos, Switzerland, on how art can improve the state of the world. Gluckstein graduated from Stanford University, where she first fell in love with light and realized the power of images to shape consciousness. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.