Born in 1913 in London.
She died in 1988 in New York.
Attracted, from childhood, to drawing and painting, at the age of eleven she won a Royal Drawing Society silver medal. In the early 1930s she studied art history in Venice, Vienna and Munich, and began to take an interest in photography.
She photographed indigenous peoples in the course of travels in China, Papua-New Guinea and the Celebes in 1935–36, and then in the Congo and Ghana in 1940–42, when she and her husband were members of the Free French Forces. When she moved to New York in the early 1950s she was able to indulge her passion for jazz and became a friend, patron and muse for all the top names.
Some twenty compositions were dedicated to her and she took Polaroid photographs of jazz musicians – on stage or at her home – from 1952 until 1988.
A selection of these photographs appears in the book Les Musiciens de Jazz et leurs Trois Vœux, published in 2006.
Pannonica De Kœnigswarter’s work was exposed at the Rencontres d’Arles in 2007, The Jazz musicians and their three wishes.