L.N.Shustak Life History

Larence (sometimes Lawrence) Nathan Shustak (LNS) was born in New York City on 13th February, 1926. He grew up in New Jersey with his father (Henry), his mother (Pearl) his brother (Ray) & his sister (Sarah). He left school at the age of 15 and entered an apprenticeship in tool-making. It was during these years that he took evening classes in Philosophy. In 1944 he enlisted in the US Army and he was assigned to the 774th Tank Battalion in Germany. He remained in Germany when the war ended and became an interpreter, translating military documents and letters and assisting war crime lawyers in questioning prisoners for information.

Following his discharge from the Army in 1946, he returned to working as tool and dye maker at various companies in New Jersey and New York City until 1950.

In 1951 he spent the year in Europe, financed by gathering soil samples for the Pfizer Co. It was during this year that he began to become very interested in photography. Some of this work would become part of the group show Photography in the Fine Arts at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City in 1962.

On his return to the U.S.A in 1952, he started photographing Off Broadway shows, actors portraits and frequently stories for magazines. By 1955 he had his own studio and was mostly shooting record jackets, but also book covers, photographic illustrations, brochures and annual reports. Shustak's reason for photographing record jackets was so he could go to the recording sessions.

Between 1955-1958 Shustak became serious about his work as a photographer and began to use photography as a means of personal expression. He attended workshops with Eugene Smith, Nathan Lyons, David Vestal and others.

Around 1958, Shustak had a portfolio in Modern Photography in the “Discovery” section where the work of new photographers was published.

In 1960, Shustak received the Art Director's Club Award for a record jacket and the American Institute of Graphic Arts Award for the illustration of a story about Cannonball Adderly.

1961 and Shustak had a one-man show at the Village Camera Club in New York and another at the University of Minnesota Art Gallery. Around this time, another portfolio of Shustak's work was published in the Popular Photography Annual.

In 1962, lee Lockwood received a group show at the New School in Contemporary Photography and in that same year Shustak's work was a part of Photography in the Fine Arts II at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, plus a group show at New York University.

Between 1960-1964, Shustak gave private classes in printing technique and from 1963-1966 he taught courses in the aesthetics and history of photoraphphy and photographic printing at the Educational Alliance in New York.


  1. Cracow Jazz Club, Poland.
  2. Gallery of Provincetown, Mass.
  3. Carl Siembab Gallery, Boston, Mass.

Shustak was also represented in Photography in the Fine Arts III at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Newsreel footage for French TV with William Klein. Associate editor of Contemporary Photographer with Lee Lockwood.


Film for Seventeen Magazine About the day in the life of a young model. Portfolios in the German magazine Twen and Camera 35 Extensive photgraphic mosaic on the South-east Bronx and its social environment, commissioned by the Albert Einstein Institute to supplement a metal health research study.


Solo show of the South East Bronx at Underground Gallery NYC.

16mm film called “Bike or the Great Memorial Day 50 Mile Race.” A poetic documentation of a bicycle race shot in colour 14 mins.

Portfolios published in The Smith Review, Chelsea Review and the Manhattan Review.

Consultant in the mental health program at the Albert Einstein Institute NYC.


School of Visual Arts teaching basic and advanced Photography and Photojournalism.

Solo show at New York State University.

Group show at the De Cordova Museum in Lincoln, MA. Part of the Graffiti series was used to illustrate a book, “Great Wall Writing.”

Educational film “Roads to Understanding” for the NDEA Institute at Brooklyn College.


Solo show in the Photography/Cinematography Gallery in Boston.

Solo show at the Parsons School of Design NYC.

Group show at the Exposure Gallery NYC

16mm film called “Landscape” An experimental film using time compression to delineate the route between New York and Boston.

Portfolio of Graffiti in Trace Magazine and South Dakota Review.

Illustrated a book called “The Flower People”


Exploration of spherical perspective using the 180mm lens(fish eye) on large format cameras This work was exhibited in a multiple opening at the Photography/Cinematography Gallery in Boston and at the Gallery Neri-Zagal in Peterborough, NH. These photographs were published in Popular Photography's 1970 Woman Annual and the 1971 Photography Annual.

16mm film called “Have my Friends been asking for Me” A documentary film for St Joseph's School for the Blind. Narrated by John Cassavettes B&W 29 mins.


Film “Have my Friends been asking for Me” wins best documentary in the Atlanta Film Festival.

Teaching photography and design at Southern Illinois University.


Teaching position taken up at School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury in New Zealand.


Solo show at Labyrinth Gallery, /Christchurch, NZ.


Christchurch City Council Arts Festival commission - Tetrahedronal Camera Obscura.

Group show at CSA Gallery, Christchurch, NZ.


Polaroid Photographs exhibited at the Artists Quarter Gallery, Christchurch, NZ.


Group show at Photo Forum Gallery, Wellington, NZ.


Sets up a business to re-ink dot matrix printer ribbons.


Treasures on Earth show at CSA Gallery, Christchurch, NZ.