Elliott Erwitt (1928-)
Rewritten, Diana, 1949
Gelatin silver, 61 x 51 cm.
Gift of Lewis Siegal ‘70
This is one of my favorite photographs by Erwitt. I always appreciate a good capture of art within art.
Born on July 26, 1928, in Paris, Elliott Erwitt spent his childhood in Milan. His family moved back to Paris in 1938, and immigrated to New York the following year then moved to Los Angeles in 1941. His interest in photography began while he was a teenager living in Hollywood. While attending Hollywood High School, he began working in a commercial darkroom in 1944. In 1948 Erwitt moved to New York, there he met Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker. After spending the year 1949 traveling in France and Italy, Erwitt returned to New York and began working as a professional photographer. Drafted into the army in 1951, he continued to take photographs while stationed in Germany and France Elliott Erwitt was invited to join Magnum Photos in 1953 by Robert Capa. A member of the prestigious agency ever since, Erwitt has served several terms as its president . One of the leading figures in the competitive field of magazine photography, Erwitts journalistic essays, illustrations, and advertisements have been featured in publications around the world for more than forty years. Presently Elliott Erwitt is archiving his massive collection of works while keeping active in the Editorial and Advertising fields. Based in New York City, Elliott Erwitt travels obsessively.
Elliott Erwitt’s glimpses of New York City are sometimes gritty, sometimes elegant, yet always true to life. His monochromatic tribute to the Big Apple contains all the shadings of this vital metropolis. Capturing the true diversity that makes this city great, this selection of images spans Erwitt’s career, including many previously unseen works from the ’50s and ’60s. It is a memorable tribute to a great city and a reflection of a great photographer’s genius.
“I go to museums and I carry my camera. I don’t go to museums to take pictures… I go because I’m interested in museums and since I have a camera, if I see something I take a picture of it.”