Photographer L. Epstein, Minsk #belarus #photographs


I have a photograph of my maternal great grandparents, Dov Ber Sossinsky and Chaya Malka Ekstein, taken some between 1901 and 1911 by photographer L. Epstein. As well I have separate large portraits of them made from that photograph created by the Solar Enlarger technique, then in vogue.
Could anyone help me with more information on L. Epstein and what such a photographer might charge.

On the back of the picture of the couple is printed in Russian:
“Gifted by the Highest Award by His Imperial Majesty, the photographer L. Epstein 1901
Minsk region
Gubernatorskaya St
The House of Erokhov
Awarded the Golden Medal at the Exhibition of 1901. Photo negatives are kept.”

Heather Shapero
Toronto, Canada
Sossinsky- Dolginovo
Margolis- Lithuania
Frankel- Drildge

Dr. Ruth Leiserowitz

At the turn of the century in Minsk there were a number of good photo studios where Jewish photographers worked. To illustrate this, I will list them here:
Neifakh Nissom (since1872), Moses Mordukhanovich Onefater (since 1873); Moses Wolfowitz Strashuner (1888-1902), Samuel Rozovsky (since 1895), Grigory Abramovich Miransky together with Abram Levinman in 1896; Moisey Zelmanovich Nappelbaum (1896-1910, moved to Moscow), Mendel Wolfowitz Shur ( since 1899),
Iosel Mendelev Bernstein(1900), Israel Metor (1901); Brothers Elia and Yankel Berman (1903)
About Lev or Leiba Epstein I found the following information (in:

The photographer Epstein Lev (Leiba) Meerov worked on Gubernatorskaya Street, in the Erokhov house opposite the City Council, located in a two-story house at the intersection with Yuryevskaya Street. The beginning of his work, judging by permission, is dated 1895. He received the famous certificate No. 4611/28 in 1901. Epstein was a member of the famous Vitebsk photographic circle. He was awarded the gold medal at an exhibition in 1903 for his work. [that is obviously a mistake, should be 1901 - RL] His ad is found in the newspaper "The Minsk Courier" for 1919, in which there is an invitation to visit the studio at 10 Gubernatorskaia Street. On this basis, we can conclude that his work lasted for a considerable period
I think there was quite a bit of competition and prices didn't differ much for that reason. However, I also have no idea what a photo session cost. That is not noted in any advertisement.

Ruth Leiserowitz
Berlin / Warsaw


From information I have in my files I have the following note:

Photographer  Lev (Leiba) Meerov Epstein’s studio was located  in the two story Erohov building in Gubernatorskaya Street, opposite the Town Hall, located  at the intersection with Yurievskaya Street. He received permission to work in 1895. A  certificate (No. 4611/28) received in 1901 shows his membership in the famous Vitebsk Photographic Society. He was awarded the gold medal for his works at an exhibition in 1903. An ad of his was published in the  "The Minsk Courier" newspaper in 1919, which invited clients his studio at 10 Gubernatorskaya Street. Apparently he was active for at least 20 years.

I hope this is of use.

Best regards,

Frank Swartz