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Pre-war photograph of Jew taken clandestinely by Roman Vishniac

Object | Accession Number: 1991.222.5

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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    In the catalog that accompanies this photograph, Vishniac explained "The grandfather was a wise man with long experience in suffering, but he could not give any advice, any help, to his granddaughter. She was young and strong and able to work. But the boycott destroyed all possibilities. Because she was Jewish her knowledge of typing in good Polish would not help."

    Original created by Roman Vishniac, 1937, Lublin, Poland. Reproduced from original negative by Witkin-Berley Limited, 1977, Roslyn Heights, New York.
    Artwork Title
    [Grandfather and grandaughter, Lublin, 1937]
    Series Title
    1 of 12 photographs in a boxed portfolio, number 33 from a limited edition of 50, entitled The Vanished World
    Date
    creation:  1937
    Credit Line
    Gift of Mara Vishniac Kohn, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, University of California, Berkeley
    Signature
    board, recto, lower right, in black ink, "Roman Vishniac"
    Contributor
    Photographer: Roman Vishniac
    Biography
    Roman Vishniac was born in 1897 in St. Petersburg, Russia and was educated in the Universities of Moscow and Berlin. From 1933 to 1939, he traveled throughout eastern Europe--Russia, Poland, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, and Lithuania--photographing Jewish communities. He was arrested and imprisoned repeatedly by police who suspected him of photographing Jews. Of the sixteen thousand images he took, two thousand negatives still exist. Vishniac's photographs were made with a hidden Leica camera which he wrapped a handkerchief around and exposed the film as he wiped his brow. He also used a concealed Rollei or 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 camera. The Rollei was kept under his coat with the lens protruding through an enlargened button hole.

    Physical Details

    Classification
    Photographs
    Physical Description
    Permanently mounted on board; image of a young woman and an old man standing close to one another. Image permanently mounted on board; verso, printed label, lower left corner, "print No. 5 of portfolio 33 published in 1977 by Witkin-Berley, Ltd."
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 28.190 inches (71.603 cm) | Width: 22.130 inches (56.21 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, gelatin silver print, adhesive, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The photograph was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1991 by Mara Vishniac Kohn, the daughter of Roman Vishniac.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:21:38
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn4873

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