"The originality of Portfolio 'Einstein' consists of its special character. It is made not to get images, but the feeling that you are present during the creativity by the Great Man." – Roman Vishniac
EXTREMELY RARE COMPLETE SUITE OF SEVEN LARGE SILVER PRINTS FROM EINSTEIN’S FAMOUS PHOTO SHOOT AT PRINCETON WITH ROMAN VISHNIAC. Each print is signed by Vishniac and dated “At Princeton 1942” in his hand below the image and numbered on the back.
“One day [Vishniac] decided to visit Albert Einstein at Princeton to offer greetings from mutual friends in Berlin. Uninvited, he hoped Einstein would pose for a portrait, but Einstein had little interest. Vishniac recalled:
It was a singular experience. An idea had suddenly come to him, and the room was filled with the movement of the great man’s thought. I waited several minutes, and then when I saw that he did not intend to say anything more to me and that he was off in a world of his own, I started taking pictures.
Einstein later admitted that a Vishniac photograph taken that day was his favorite portrait” (Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Photography).
Vishniac provided details about this portolfio in a letter to an original recipient (the letter is not included here), explaining:
The size of the edition’s limitation is uncertain due to my age and only spare time to make them. The most expensive portfolios - Ansel Adams, Kertesz - are limited in large numbers I can never measure up - 999, 1001 and similar.
The originality of Portfolio “Einstein” consists of its special character. It is made not to get images, but the feeling that you are present during the creativity by the Great Man. All pictures are made with “hidden camera” method.
The value of this portfolio is great and can hardly be estimated today...
Princeton/New York: 1942 (negatives); 1980 (silver prints). Elephant folio clamshell box (approx. 17x21 in.) housing seven silver prints. Image size: approx. 10.25 x 13.25 in.; with matte, 16x20 in.) A few minor blemishes to box. Photos in fine condition. RARE.
Price: $45,000 .