The photographer Roman Vishniac created some of the most iconic images of Jewish life in Europe before the Holocaust, documenting a world that would soon vanish. He also chronicled the rise of Nazism and the aftermath of World War II. However, the public has never had the opportunity to appreciate the breadth and depth of his work—of Vishniac’s 10,000 negatives, only about 350 have previously been published. The Museum has worked with the International Center of Photography (ICP) to put those images online and invites the public to help us learn more about Vishniac’s photographs. Roman Vishniac (1897–1990) was born to a Russian-Jewish family. He grew up in Moscow where he studied biology and zoology. Vishniac’s family left Russia after the revolution and, after completing his studies, he joined them in Berlin. There he pursued his passion for photography by documenting life in his new city.
As the Nazis rose to power in Berlin, Vishniac photographed the ominous changes in the city and also worked to document Germany-Jewish relief and social service organizations. In 1935, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC) hired Vishniac to travel to Eastern Europe and take photographs documenting Jewish poverty and relief efforts to be used in its fundraising campaigns. In 1939, Vishniac pursued other AJDC assignments in Western Europe and worked as a freelance photographer there. After the German invasion of France, he was arrested and sent to an internment camp. With help from the AJDC and the remainder of his family’s resources, he secured release and immigrated with his wife and two children to the United States via Portugal in December 1940. They settled in New York, where Vishniac worked as a photographer, making portraits and documenting Jewish refugees and American-Jewish community life.
In 1947, Vishniac returned to Europe to document the aftermath of the war and the plight of refugees and those living in displaced persons camps. Back in the United States, Vishniac continued his work as photographer and scientist and became a pioneer in the new field of photomicroscopy.
Vishniac’s photographs of Jewish life in prewar Eastern Europe gained renown in the aftermath of the Holocaust and were used to illustrate numerous books. Many people today are familiar with his work from his book Vanished World (1983). However, the public saw only a small fraction of Vishniac’s work before his daughter, Mara Vishniac Kohn, entrusted his images to ICP and the Museum. This project makes them available to the public at large in hopes of learning more about the subjects of his photographs.
– OTHER CONCEPTS –
Lux Aurumque (“Light and Gold”, or “Light of Gold”) is a composition in one movement by Eric Whitacre. An American Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor. “Virtual Choir” projects, bringing individual voices from around the globe together into an online choir.
Piano suite by one of the most prominent music figures, French composer Claude Debussy (1890). Debussy commenced the suite in 1890 at age 28, but he did not finish or publish it until 1905.
Composed by Harry Gregson-Williams, a British composer, orchestrator, conductor, and music producer.
Composed by German composer, and big band leader James Last, from same named album Biscaya (1981). He is well known for his ”happy music”. Became an international success in interpretations by Andy Williams and Petula Clark.
The Israeli national anthem (instrumental), written by Naphtali Herz Imber, a Jewish poet from Zolochiv, Ukraine (1877). He wrote the first version of his poem while being hosted as a guest by a Jewish scholar in the city of Iasi, Romania.
Originally published in 1853 as Méditation sur le Premier Prélude de Piano de S. Bach. Performed by Aaron Neville, an American R&B and soul singer.
Song by the American dream pop singer Julee Cruise. The instrumental version of the song, performed by Badalamenti, won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance at the 32nd Grammy Awards.
Composed by Greek composer Vangelis, composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, pop rock, and orchestral music. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning score for the film Chariots of Fire Melodie from Albedo 0.39 and Cosmos.
Composed by Daniel Licht, an American film composer and musician. Licht’s eclectic musical tastes and knack for delivering the appropriate cue made his transition to film scoring inevitable.
Song by Modèle Mécanique. Minimal wave, minimal synth and french.
Brian Eno is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer, and visual artist, known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music.
Instrumental song written for tv series Miami Vice. The Crockett refers to Don Johnson’s character. The song was composed by Jan Hammer.
A music theme from the movie ”A Beautiful Mind”, composed by James Roy Horner, an American composer, conductor, and orchestrator of orchestral and film music. He is noted for the integration of choral and electronic elements in many of his film scores.
From the The Trinity Session is a 1988 album by Cowboy Junkies. Blue Moon Revisited was originally released on ”It Came from Canada”, Vol. 4, a compilation of Canadian independent bands which is both a cover and an original, combining a new song by the band “Blue Moon”.
Song by Irish musician Enya, originally released as the second track on her 1991 album Shepherd Moons. The song mentions the Anemoi (Ancient Greek wind gods): Boreas, Afer Ventus (Africus), Eurus, and Zephyrus.
An instrumental theme written and recorded by Vangelis for the soundtrack of the 1981 film of the same name. “Chariots of Fire” has become somewhat synonymous with the Olympic Games. It was the official theme for the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
Accordion and piano driven music of Yann Tiersen. Soundtrack from the movie ”Amélie”. Yann Tiersen is a French musician. Recognized by distinctive sound, use of a large variety of instruments; primarily the guitar, synthesizer or violin together with other.
Originally a yiddish poem (lullaby) by Itzik Manger. The title means “On the Road Stands a Tree.” It tells the story of a boy who wants to become a bird so he can comfort a lonely tree during the winter, but his mother is worried that he’ll freeze in the cold weather.
From album Everything is Wrong, the third studio album by American electronica musician Moby, released in 1995. Everything is Wrong was released with a limited edition bonus disc of ambient music.
The Red Carpet is an original soundtrack song from World of Goo video game, composed by Kyle Gabler.
Composed and recorded by Irish singer Enya. Enya donated the earnings from the sale of that single to the Uniform Firefighters Association’s Widows’ and Children’s Fund to help the families of fire fighters in the aftermath of 9/11.
Jerusalem of Gold (ירושלים של זהב) is Israeli song written by Naomi Shemer in 1967. The original song described the Jewish people’s 2000-year longing to return to Jerusalem. Shemer added a final verse after the Six-Day War to celebrate Jerusalem’s re-unification.
Hans Zimmer is a German film composer and music producer and he has composed music for over 150 films. Zimmer’s works are notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements. Named on the list of Top 100 Living Geniuses.
Mike Volpe professionally known as Clams Casino, is an American hip hop producer. Clams Casino’s official debut EP, Rainforest, was released in 2011. I’m God is track from the television movie Lost in the New York (1989).
Berry Sakharof (Hebrew: ברי סחרוף) is an Israeli rock guitarist, songwriter and singer. Sakharof is one of Israel’s most popular and critically acclaimed musicians. He is nicknamed “the prince of Israeli rock”.
ויכלו השמים והארץ וכל צבאם. ויכל אלהים ביום השביעי מלאכתו אשר עשה. וישבת ביום השביעי מכל מלאכתו אשר עשה. ויברך אלהים את יום השביעי ויקדש אותוכי בו שבת מכל מלאכתו אשר ברא אלהים לעשות
This is the instrumental version of the song “The Way” originally featured on the album The Way. Music composed, orchestrated, and mixed by Zack Hemsey. Audio mastered by Lou Hemsey @ Lou Hemsey Music and Film.
Electronic transcription of Henry Purcell’s Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, composed in 1695, for the procession of Queen Mary’s cortège through London en route to Westminster Abbey. A Clockwork Orange soundtrack.
Piyut for Havdala service famous throughout great Sephardic Jewish Communities of the Balkans. Musicians are Stefan Sablic – vocals, Elad Gabbay – kanun, Srdjan Djordjevic – doublebass, Shira utfila.
Triarii is a martial industrial and dark ambient music group from Germany.
The lyrics for the song are taken from Psalm 137:5-6, saying: If I Forget Thee Jerusalem.