Adirondack Journal — Adirondack Faces

Photographer Mathias T. Oppersdorff had a knack for capturing the personality of his subjects. In the book Adirondack Faces, commissioned by the Adirondack Museum in 1986, Oppersdorff's sensitive portraits demonstrate that the character of a place is reflected in the faces of its community.

In the book's introduction he wrote, "From the beginning I wanted to place my subjects in their own surroundings. In this way I could show a face and let the environment add to our insight as to how each person lived and worked. I met all my subjects on their own ground."

Oppersdorff received international acclaim for his work throughout his career. Son of an Austrian count, he traveled extensively taking photographs for Gourmet Magazine, GEO Magazine, Natural History, Diversion, Nikon World, Popular Photography, and Conde Nast Traveler.

Mathias T. Oppersdorff died January 26, 2010 near his home in Rhode Island at the age of seventy-four. The Adirondack Museum will commemorate his life by exhibiting a selection of his work throughout the museum this season.

Photographs from the Adirondack Faces collection will be grouped in the Visitor Center, in the exhibition "Roads and Rails: Everyday Life in the Ages of Horses," and in the Lake View Café. Others may be found in the "Woods and Waters" exhibit, in "Logging the Adirondacks," and in "Boats and Boating in the Adirondacks."

Photo Caption: Jim Latour, sawmill owner and former logger, Saranac Lake, New York, December 1986.