History is intriguing. All it’s facets have been slowly woven together to create the world we know today. Stories of war, uncharted lands, and the discovery of new and exciting inventions help us to understand many of the things we now take for granted. But often times, history can seem so distant and so removed from our everyday lives. Oftentimes the events of the past may seem unimportant to us today as they happened so far from our homes and impacted those who are not linked to our ancestry. We don’t view them as real occurrences, but rather two-dimensional events we read about in books. Because past events are hard to wrap our minds around, those who bring history to life not only help us to visualize the realness, but also help to keep vital events in our history alive for our generation and many generations to come.

Recently, BOOOOOOOM.com featured photographer Richard Tuschman who has just recently released his latest photographic series entitled, “Once Upon a Time in Kazimierz.” This 17 image series of dioramas depicts the life of a Jewish family living in Poland during the 1930s. Tuschman’s creativity not only brings history to life, but brings an edge to historic photography which is rarely seen.

To create these masterpieces, Tuschman designs miniature scenes complete with furniture and decor. Once he has a visual of how he wants the scene set, he photographs a live model with just enough props to help the model’s image mesh flawlessly with the miniature scene he has created. He then photographs the miniature scene using small mannequins to adjust the lighting in order to portray how it will hit the live model. As the final culmination of his work, Tuschman combines pictures of the model and the diorama. Due to his technique of using a shallow depth of field, his viewers feel as if they are viewing old photos which have been carefully preserved in order to reveal stories from the past.

While Tuschman’s new series of dioramas give a vivid and detailed depiction of the life of a Jewish family, his work goes beyond simply illustrating everyday life. Additionally, the tones, shades and emotions within his pictures help to arouse a deeper emotion than the ordinary awe we feel while gazing at a masterpiece.

The 1930s for this family would have been time of great uncertainty and anxiousness. With the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust looming so soon in the future, Tuschman’s models perfectly depict the concern which slowly grew among the Jewish community as things became more difficult for them and others who were against the Nazi’s plans. Through the dioramas, we can feel the silent quietness which allowed the horror’s of the coming years to slowly creep up. This is seen by simply gazing at the unattended hallways, the uneven cobble streets, the shadows which drape across the family or even the cloudy sky with just a hint of golden sunlight.

However, while tension is easily displayed within these pictures, viewers can also understand and feel the bond which united this family and many others like them. Through these dioramas, people from the past slowly become real as we visualize their fear not just for their safety but the future of their children. The simple tear on the woman’s face perfectly displays the emotion of that time as she thinks about the troubles her and family face due to their Jewish background. Additionally,  the woman carefully laying her head on her husband’s shoulder while their child reads in the hallway beautiful depicts the innocence of childhood coupled with the concern of his parents that such wonderful days would soon be all but a memory.

It is art such as this which represents the past in such a way as to help us connect with those who lived so long ago. With so much of history slowly fading away, Richard Tuschman and others like him should be honored for their willingness to bring history back into our minds.  The shadows of past events, such as World War II still linger among us and have impacted who we are as nations, groups and individuals. From the beginning of time, every battle, cultural change, and new nation formed as in some way shaped our individual worlds. For this reason, we must never forget the past. If the past is forgotten we lose a part of ourselves and we slowly forget the lessons taught by those who have gone before us.


To a see Richard Tuschman’s full collection visit his website here

The post Bringing History to Life – Richard Tuschman’s Latest Diaromas appeared first on Gifts with Style.

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