Roman Vishniac | 3 mins | Russia/USA | 1967
A silent tour of Roman Vishniac’s laboratory.
Roman Vishniac Roman Vishniac (1897 – 1990) was a Russian-American photographer, best known for capturing on film the culture of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. 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.
As a child, Roman Vishniac was fascinated by biology and photography, and his room was filled with “plants, insects, fish and small animals”.On his seventh birthday, he got a microscope from his grandmother, to which he promptly hooked up a camera, and by which he photographed the muscles in a cockroach’s leg at 150 times magnification. Young Vishniac used this microscope extensively, viewing and photographing everything he could find, from dead insects to animal scales, to pollen and protozoa.