Josephine Herrick Project
Formerly RTP (Rehabilitation Through Photography)

The Josephine Herrick Project is a nonprofit that enlists photographic community volunteers to educate students who have not had the opportunity to learn the communicative power of photography. Through partnerships with local organizations, JHProject’s completely free programs inspire children, teens, adults and seniors with the visual language of photography, enhancing their abilities to transform communities through artistic vision.

Jean Lewis: An Extraordinary Life

 Jean Lewis


55 Years of Service at Rehabilitation Through Photography (now Josephine Herrick Project)


By Jackie Augustine – October 2, 2014

My memories of Jean Lewis are fond.  She was the tenacious phone call several times a year to tell me about the progress Rehabilitation Through Photography (now Josephine Herrick Project) was making in helping a myriad of underserved populations.  As the Publisher of Petersen’s PHOTOgraphic magazine, I was her target for an annual donation to the organization, a definite buyer of the annual raffle tickets and always interested in writing a story in our magazine about the power of photography to make a difference.  But it wasn’t until I came across the article in the archives that I discovered who Jean Lewis really was.  It tells an amazing story of a woman who was ahead of her time.  She believed in service. She believed in giving back.  She believed in helping the underprivileged. And she had an interesting career as an actress on radio, in theater and as a children’s book author.  Read this wonderful story about her from our archives that was published in Photo Marketing in 2004.


Jean Lewis began work at VSP in 1954 and remained for 55 years and served as the Executive Director for over 20 years.

Published in Photo Marketing – November 2004

Lots of people daydream about having exciting professions, like becoming an actor, writing and publishing books, or deciding their lives to serving others.  In her long and remarkable career, Jean Lewis has done all these things.

Born in Shanghi, China to a father who worked for Texaco and a mother who came from a family of missionaries, Lewis was the thrid generation of her family to be born in China or Japan.

“I always thought life was going to be anticlimax after being born in Shanghai, but that didn’t happe,? Lewis said. Not by a long shot.

In the early 1940’s, Lewis was an actress on a number of radio soap operas, such as, “John’s Other Wife.” On one show, she performed opposite Tony Randall.

“In those days, it was 15-minute soap opera and you had exactly an hour beforehand for rehearsal.” Lewis said. “The time went very quickly.  Some directors would actually cut from the bottom while you were reading from the script on the air.  You would get the signal to cut a certain number of lines from the bottom of the page and scary things like that.”

From radio, Lewis went into theater,

“Back in 1944 and 1945, during the war, I was part of the nine-month national tour of a play called “Harriet” about Harriet Beecher Stowe, starring Helen Hayes. She was absolutely one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met.  In those days, stars did road tours. You hit the best of the best cities when you were touring with Helen Hayes, of course.  I played her daughter in the play. It was the first professional theater job I had and everybody was agog that I had come to this from radio amateur theater.”

After the tour, Lewis continued her theater and radio work.  She eventually took a position as program director of the American Theater Wing.  “I was with them for about five years, booking entertainment for military and VA hospitals. That was a wonderful experience too,” Lewis said.

Lewis was also the author of about 100 children’s books.

“I got my start through Little Golden BooksI began by writing adventure books for “The Flinstones” and “Bugs Bunny.”  I seemed to have a knack for it, so the editors started giving me assignments,” she said. “It was interesting, because you had to think in terms of pictures, illustrations.  The pictures had to carry the story, which is also true of photography.  It was very good training for me.”

Lewis also wrote versions of “The Jungle Book” and “The Swiss Family Robinson,” among many other books, for Golden.

In addition, Lewis called on her experience growing up in Asia when she wrote books like “Kathi and Hash San- The case of Measels” and “Jane and the Mandarin’s Secret.” The foreward of the latter book was was written by famed author Pearl Buck, who grew up with Lewis’ mother.

Lewis has served the sick, injured, elderly, and disadvantages as executive Director of Rehabilitation Through Photography since 1953.






FREE Pass for Photo Plus Expo Courtesy of JHP! Visit us at booth #881


Board members Craig Nisnewitz and Ron Sharpe at the JHP booth in 2013

Join Josephine Herrick Project at the PhotoPlus Expo Oct 30 – Nov 1 at Javits Center Register before October 28th and get a 3-day Expo Pass for free! The PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo is the largest photography and imaging show in North America, attended by over 22,000 professional photographers and enthusiasts. Explore over 220 exhibits, see thousands of new products, attend over 80 conference seminars, keynote presentations, special events & more.

Visit us at booth #881






JHP launches first Veteran’s Program in NJ at Unique Photo


By Jackie Augustine – September 30, 2014

Are you a Veteran and interesting in learning digital photography for FREE?

Join the Josephine Herrick Project (JHP) for an 8-session introduction to digital photography at Unique Photo in Fairfield, NJ!

Using Canon Rebel DSLR cameras, this 8-session program will focus on several different subjects, including portraiture, still life, outdoor photography, special effects, macro photography, and much more.


Classes start Saturday, October 11th at 10am to noon at Unique Photo in Fairfield, NJ.

Instructors include Harmon Kaplan, Rick Gerrity, Michael Downey, and Jackie Augustine.
Canon DSLR cameras will be provided for use during class.


This program is FREE RSVP for VETERANS ONLY.
Please do not enroll if you are not a veteran.
Enroll early!  Only 15 spots available.

Our Instructors for the program

Harmon Kaplan


Rick Gerrity

Michael Downey


Jackie Augustine


About Josephine Herrick Project’s Veteran Program

Since its founding in 1941, JHP has had a distinguished legacy of offering free programs to veterans. Dr. Howard Rusk, renowned rehabilitation pioneer, tapped photographer Josephine Herrick to train photographers to teach the art and technical aspects of photography to wounded soldiers. Portable darkrooms were designed so that bed-bound patients could learn to develop and print the photos they had taken. Today the Josephine Herrick Project has programs for veterans at the Brooklyn VA, the James J. Peter VA Hospital in the Bronx, and the St. Albans VA Hospital in Queens. Other veteran programs are in partnership with libraries, colleges and Services for the Underserved. Here is a link to The Today Show featuring a JHP program which aired on July 4, 2014,

The goal of the free JHP photography programs for veterans is to connect participants to their communities. JHP provides at no cost, cameras, supplies, materials and professional instructors. The program introduces veterans to the camera, focusing on portraiture, still life, street photography and photojournalism. Selected veteran photographs are then exhibited in venues around NYC and the surrounding area, enhancing their ability to transform communities through their artistic vision.

For more information about JHP veteran programs, please contact or 212-213-4946.