Street Visions: Europe, 1934 -- Photographs by Richard J. Scheuer

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2022
Location: Dr. Bernard Heller Museum
Scheuer Warsaw photo

Richard J. Scheuer, Warsaw Street Scene, 1934.

1934 Europe captured in rare photographs revealed for the first time at the Dr. Bernard Heller Museum


Opening reception:

Thursday, September 22 at 5-7 pm

Exhibition dates:

August 22 – December 22, 2022
A remarkable window into Europe before World War II will be seen by the public for the first time when Street Visions: Europe, 1934 — Photographs by Richard J. Scheuer goes on display on August 22, 2022 in the Backman Gallery at the Dr. Bernard Heller Museum at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York.

Richard Scheuer’s black and white photographs depict ordinary people going about their daily lives in pre-war Europe with remarkable clarity and empathy, capturing the continent on the brink of radical change. Scheuer had just turned 17 when he took an eight-week tour of Europe in the summer of 1934. He traveled the continent, making stops in France, Italy, Yugoslavia, and the cities of Budapest, Warsaw, and Moscow. His photos ranged from Warsaw’s lively Jewish quarter to Moscow’s street parade and popular entertainments, including the Moscow State Yiddish Theater and the Moscow Children’s Theater, from Basque markets in southwest France and artisan bazaars in Yugoslavia to the baths in Budapest.

Scheuer remained an avid amateur photographer with a darkroom in his home. His 1934 European negatives were developed and printed as contact strips at the time of shooting, but never enlarged as prints. The 13 rolls of nitrate negatives and contact strips were digitized at high resolution in 2018. Photo archivist and restoration expert Charles Seton restored and printed the digitized negatives. Research into the trip route and photo locations was conducted between 2018 and 2022 by Seton and Scheuer’s sons Dan and Jonathan. Of the 374 photos in this collection, 38 of the most compelling images were chosen for this exhibition.

Scheuer went on to a business career in real estate and to association with major Jewish institutions including serving as the Chairman of the Boards of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Jewish Museum.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue.
A webinar about this exhibition will take place in late November – early December. For more information, please contact: Kristin Young at


One West Fourth Street between Broadway and Mercer Street.


Monday to Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Free; vaccinations and masks required.


Curator and docent-led tours are also free of charge and can be arranged by contacting Eleanor Berman at 212-824-2218 or Specialized tours with photo-archivist Charles Seton are also available.


Contact Nancy Mantell, Curator, at 212-824-2218 or