was a Russian-American photographer
, best known for capturing on film the culture of Jews
in Eastern Europe
before the Holocaust
. He was, however, an extremely diverse photographer, an accomplished biologist
and a knowledgeable student and teacher of art history
. Throughout his life, he made significant scientific contributions to the fields of photomicroscopy
and time-lapse photography
. He later became a teacher and collector of historic art and artifacts.
Vishniac was very interested in history, especially that of his ancestors. In turn, he was strongly tied to his Jewish roots and was a Zionist later in life. Roman Vishniac won international acclaim for his photography: his pictures from the shtetlach and Jewish ghettos, celebrity portraits, and images of microscopic biology. He is known for his book A Vanished World, published in 1947, which was one of the first such pictorial documentations of Jewish culture in Eastern Europe from that period. He is known also for his extreme humanism and respect and awe for life, sentiments that can be seen in all aspects of his work.