Vishniac, Roman

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Vishniac, Roman

Roman Vishniac (vĬsh´nēăk), 1897–1990, Russian-American biologist, photographer, linguist, art historian, and philosopher, b. Pavlosk, near St. Petersburg. Vishniac took degrees in medicine, philosophy, art history, and biology. In 1920 he fled to Berlin, where he conducted research in endocrinology and worked as a photojournalist. From around 1935 to 1938 he produced a photographic record of Jewish communities in Central and Western Europe. A part of this unique humanitarian document was published in 1947 under the title Polish Jews: A Pictorial Record. In the mid-1930s he was imprisoned 11 times and forced to do hard labor in two concentration camps. He escaped and emigrated to the United States in 1940.

In the United States Vishniac returned to his scientific pursuits. At Yeshiva Univ. in New York City he was appointed (1957) research associate at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and became professor of biological education there in 1961. A pioneer in time-lapse cinematography and light-interruption photography as well as in the color photomicroscopy of living organisms, Vishniac became in 1960 project director and filmmaker for the Living Biology film series sponsored by the National Science Foundation. His chief biological researches were in the field of marine microbiology, the physiology of ciliates, and circulation systems in unicellular plants. He proposed the hypothesis that the first living organisms were multicellular structures that emerged many times in many places by different biochemical pathways (polyphyletic origin). A volume of his color microphotographs of proteins, vitamins, and hormones, Building Blocks of Life, was published in 1971. Widely read and fluent in most modern and ancient European and Asian languages, Vishniac also was a specialist in East Asian art and philosophy. He taught in several fields at a number of universities including the City Univ. of New York, Pratt Institute, and Case Western Reserve Univ.

An archive containing thousands of Vishniac's 1930s negatives was donated in 2007 to the International Center of Photography. In addition to the photographs of impoverished and intensely religious Jews contained in his 1947 book, many of which were reproduced in his well-known A Vanished World (1983), the archive contains many other images that document the more diverse Jewish population that inhabited Eastern Europe at the time.

See also his work in To Give Them Light: The Legacy of Roman Vishniac (1995) and Children of a Vanished World (1999).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Vishniac, Roman
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.