The Photographers’ Gallery has become the first gallery to present the UK retrospective of Russian born American photographer, Roman Vishniac (1897–1990).
Inspired by the Roman Vishniac Archive at the International Center of Photography, New York the retrospective provides additional contextual material to illuminate the works on display and bring the artist, his works and significance to the attention of UK audiences. It has been curated by Maya Benton in collaboration with The Photographers’ Gallery curator, Anna Dannemann and Jewish Museum London curator, Morgan Wadsworth-Boyle.
“Roman Vishniac Rediscovered” is organized by the International Center of Photography. It is made possible with support from Mara Vishniac Kohn, whose generosity founded the Roman Vishniac Archive at ICP, along with support from the Andrew and Marina Lewin Family Foundation, Estanne and Martin Fawer, The David Berg Foundation, Righteous Persons Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Olitsky Family Foundation, the ICP Exhibitions Committee, James and Merryl Tisch, Koret Foundation, and additional anonymous donors.
Vishniac is best known for having created one of the most widely recognized and reproduced photographic records of Jewish life in Eastern Europe between the two World Wars.
Displaying a collection of his most iconic works, this comprehensive exhibition further introduces recently discovered and lesser-known chapters of his photographic career from the early 1920s to the late 1970s.
Roman Vishniac was a Russian-American photographer, best known for capturing on film the culture of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. A major archive of his work now rests at the International Center of Photography. Vishniac was a versatile photographer, an accomplished biologist, an art collector and teacher of art history. He also made significant scientific contributions to photomicroscopy and time-lapse photography. Vishniac was very interested in history, especially that of his ancestors, and strongly attached to his Jewish roots; he was a Zionist later in life. Roman Vishniac won international acclaim for his photos of shtetls and Jewish ghettos, celebrity portraits, and microscopic biology. His book “A Vanished World,” published in 1983, made him famous and is one of the most detailed pictorial documentations of Jewish culture in Eastern Europe in the 1930s. Vishniac was also remembered for his humanism and respect for life, sentiments that can be seen in all aspects of his work. In August 2014, the International Center for Photography in New York City announced that 9,000 of Vishniac's photos, many never printed or published before, would be posted in an online database.
Founder: Louise Blouin