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. His legacy lives on through the work he contributed to our region’s historical record, both in the telling, beautiful portraits he captured and in the oral history interviews he conducted with his subjects, which are housed in the Museum’s library.
Header Image: Jim Latour, sawmill owner and former logger, Saranac Lake, New York, December 1986.