1907 - 1933


ZBY publishes an essay, “The Honorable Flowers of Japan,” in the March issue of Century.


In June ZBY publishes in the Saturday Evening Post the first of three essays about living in England. In that same month Anna Ben-Yusuf resigns her position at Pratt to establish a school of her own on West 23rd Street.

ZBY returns to New York on November 9 aboard the S.S. Vaderland after a period abroad. An article in the next day’s New York Times indicates that she has apparently traveled 35,000 miles, including a visit to Japan. The writer describes her as an “artist-lecturer.”


On November 21 ZBY celebrates her 40th birthday in London.

Anna Ben-Yusuf dies in New York on December 8.


London phone book lists ZBY as a photographer in the Chelsea section of London.


In October Sadakichi Hartmann writes that ZBY “has given up the vanities of the photographic world for an unrestrained life in the South Sea Islands.” Few in New York seem to know her whereabouts.


Archduke Francis Ferdinand is assassinated in Sarajevo in June, prompting the beginning of the First World War. In August Germany declares war on France and begins a military offensive towards Paris. On September 15 ZBY arrives in New York on a ship from Le Havre, France. Her naturalization papers indicate that she had been living in Paris at the time. She finds an apartment at 40 West 39th Street.


Alfred Stieglitz writes to ZBY on December 8, enclosing a check for $6.00 from the sale of her copies of Camera Work. She replies to him three weeks later, thanking him for his help in selling these copies.


The May 17 issue of the New York Times includes ZBY in a list of debtors. She owes $261 to Elizabeth Lorillard, a New York socialite.


In March ZBY takes out an advertisement in the New York Times, seeking “a young lady, or beginner, clever at sewing.”


On June 30 ZBY files a declaration for naturalization in New York. She lists photographer as her occupation and 142 West 44th Street as her address. In her statement she lists her age as thirty-nine – ten years younger than she actually is. ZBY celebrates her 50th birthday on November 21.


ZBY visits Cuba in the fall, returning to New York on October 24.


ZBY returns to New York on September 29 after a trip to Jamaica. Passenger records list her as a “retired artist.”


ZBY works for the Reed Fashion Service in New York City. During this period she travels often to give lectures on topics such as “Personality in Dress” at local department stores.


ZBY is appointed the style director of the annual spring fashion show of the Retail Millinery Association in New York. She later becomes the director for this organization.


Census records indicate that ZBY has married Frederick J. Norris, a textile designer, and that the couple lives in a rented apartment in Greenwich Village. There are few details about this marriage.


On September 27 ZBY dies at the age of sixty-three at the Methodist Episcopal Hospital in Brooklyn. A brief notice of her death is published in the New York Times.