After hours spent reviewing Adirondack photographs in the studio of Nathan Farb, in Upper Jay, NY, I was given a glimpse of The Russians.   A portfolio of portrait photographs so compelling that the images remained in my memory for years.  The opportunity to feature the work in an exhibition came about in the fall of 2016.  Working directly with the photographer, a selection of 50 pictures were chosen from over 600 images that represent a cross section of the Russian people living in Novosibirsk, Siberia in 1977.  Utilizing a simple draped studio background, the character of the sitter, whether full body or close up, was taken using a view camera and capturing the unique individuality of the sitter.  My fascination with the subjects as individuals, the socio-political time period, and the “not so closed” society with its strong influence of Western genre, reads as a study of a society striving to express itself.

Cecilia M. Esposito

Director, Plattsburgh State Art Museum

I went to Novosibirsk, the largest city in Siberia, in June 1977 as part of a USSR/USA cultural exchange and made portraits of several hundred of the many thousands of people who came to a show of American Photography. I tried to assemble a cross section of what Soviet Society looked like to me. A book of these photographs was published in 5 countries and later in media outlets including Vice and many others.
The exhibition at SUNY Plattsburg Art Museum includes 50 portraits from that collection. I want to thank Ceil Esposito for the opportunity to show this work.

Read more.

Nathan Farb, 2016

Nathan Farb Made Communism Look Groovy by Jan Van Tienen in Vice.

Portraits from the Détente Era by Nathan Farb + Izabella Tabarovsky in the Wilson Quarterly

Behind the Iron Curtain by Robin Caudell in the Plattsburgh Press Republican.

Nathan Farb and ‘The Russians’ by Naj Wikoff in the Lake Placid News


Cecilia Esposito:

Nathan Farb:


The Russians will be exhibited at the Wende Museum in Los Angeles opening October 2017.

The collection is available for acquisition and exhibition.

Photographs from The Russians have been exhibited and are in the collections of MoMANew York Public Library among many others.

Share This