Roman Vishniac Photographs Exhibit at the International Center of Photography

The portrait selections in the exhibit are just one part of a larger collection. The catalog describes the portraits this way:

Portrait Studio and Nightclubs, New York

Upon arriving in New York in 1941, Vishniac turned to photography to support his family, opening a portrait studio on the Upper West Side. Always resourceful, he mined his connections in the Russian and German-Jewish expatriate communities to secure famous subjects for portraits—Marc Chagall, Albert Einstein, and Yiddish Theater star Molly Picon among them. These photographs of well-known artists, intellectuals, and performers helped establish Vishniac’s reputation in New York, attracting a broad clientele to his studio, including Jewish émigré dancers, actors, musicians, artists, intellectuals, and scientists. His success in portraiture ultimately allowed Vishniac to pursue photomicroscopy, biology, and scientific research—fields that would become his primary focus over the next fifty years.


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