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At this late date, in an age when seemingly every significant photograph of the past 150 years has been anthologized and analyzed, how many major 20th-century photographers can possibly remain under the radar of both the general public and photography aficionados? How many discoveries of unknown, genuinely great photographers can we possibly expect?

A show of pictures made by Russian-born Roman Vishniac, opening Jan. 18 at New York’s International Center of Photography, answers both questions with an emphatic, at least one.

It should be noted at the very outset that Vishniac did not toil in utter obscurity. In fact, he has long been celebrated in the Jewish community for his empathetic and intimate documentation of shtetl life Central and Eastern Europe in the years prior to the rise of the Third Reich and the cataclysmic onset of the Second World War. One Vishniac book in particular, A Vanished World, has for decades held pride of place in countless Jewish homes — a secret history, of sorts, that at-once documents and partially mythologizes a cultural landscape that was all but wiped away by the Holocaust.

The ICP exhibition, meanwhile, Roman Vishniac Rediscovered, will feature largely unpublished photos, with the stated aim not only of introducing Vishniac to an audience that knows little or nothing of his work, but of positioning him as one of the great social documentarians of the mid-20th century, whose pictures stand comparison with Cartier-Bresson or Eugene Atget.

According to ICP’s Maya Benton, who curated Rediscovered, Vishniac’s known body of work is really a narrow (albeit excellent) entry point to a much broader appreciation of his vast and varied archive. A mere one to two percent of his photos have ever been published, Benton points out, suggesting that the exhibition’s broad scope — including his work in photo microscopy, personal correspondence and other treasures — will be a revelation not only to the uninitiated, but to those who might have felt that they already knew all there was to know about the long-unheralded master.

Liz Ronk is the photo editor for LIFE.com.

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While enrolled as a student at the International Center of Photography in the fall of 2005, Samantha Box was given an assignment to photograph a community space in New York. In the Hell’s Kitchen district of Manhattan, she found Sylvia’s Place, the city’s only emergency shelter for homeless LGBT youth. More than six years later, she has yet to leave.

On any given night in New York City, an estimated 4,000 LGBT youth roam the city without a home. As the country celebrates LGBT Pride month throughout June, Box aims to remind us that, in spite of tremendous progress, vulnerable LGBT youth still suffer in the shadows. According to a recent study by the Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services, an estimated 25-40% of homeless youth in New York City identify as gay, bisexual, and/or transgender. These young adults must navigate a social and cultural landscape punctuated by multiple layers of stigma in regards to race, gender, class and sexuality. Many suffer from a history of trauma. Most, if not all, have fled broken homes.

Box believes in slowing down, that to accurately tell a story involving a cacophony of societal and personal layers one must wait patiently for the expression to flicker on someone’s face. Only after three to four years of patiently returning to Sylvia’s Place — after producing a series of images focused on the issue of homeless LGBT youth designed to, in her words, “hit people in the head to say these people need your attention,” — did she fully understand the nuances of her story.

Although one senses heartbreak in the images — the pained expression of a young woman visiting the grave of her deceased mother, the “Happy Mother’s Day” note bequeathed on a bed of flowers — there is an overwhelming feeling of life and youth radiating from Box’s photos. As opposed to relying on expected visual tropes of homelessness and LGBT youth, Box paints a more refined and heartfelt portrait: these are young adults coming of age and coming together in search of family.

“The young people that I photograph are some of the most resilient people that I have ever met: despite facing the societal animosity of homo- and transphobia, and the burden of a broken system that conspires to keep them homeless,” she says, “they continuously work for a future where their talents and intellect can be used, where they have a home, a family and a life of stability.”

Samantha Box is a documentary photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. You can see more of her work here.

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Weegee, the tenacious news photographer famous for his gritty images of New York in the 1930s and ’40s, is the subject of two concurrent shows in Manhattan, one at Steven Kasher Gallery and one at the International Center for Photography. The exhibit at the ICP includes historical material, such as Weegee’s book “Naked City”, newspapers, films and images made by other photographers.

Weegee worked as a freelance newspaper photographer when wire services were just beginning include photos, a time when New York City had several dailies. Strategically, Weegee was well situated for the challenge of keeping up with the crime surge–as police and government crackdowns increased in the city between 1935 and 1941, the rate of organized-crime murders increased dramatically. His apartment was across the street from police headquarters, where he listened to his police-band radio receiver for updates, often managing to arrive on the scene before the police. Murders, he claimed, were the easiest to photograph because the subjects never moved or got temperamental. To read more about Weegee’s illustrious career, click here.

At an East Side Murder, 1943. © Weegee/International Center of Photography.

Weegee, The dead man’s wife arrived…and then she collapsed, ca. 1940. © Weegee/International Center of Photography.

Hats in a pool room, Mulberry Street, New York, ca. 1943. © Weegee/International Center of Photography.

This photo by an unidentified photographer shows Weegee on the scene, December 9, 1939. © Weegee/International Center of Photography.

Anthony Esposito, booked on suspicion of killing a policeman, New York, January 16, 1941. © Weegee/International Center of Photography.

Police officer and lodge member looking at blanket-covered body of woman trampled to death in excursion-ship stampede, New York, August 18, 1941. © Weegee/International Center of Photography

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