Elliott Erwitt

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Known for his satirical humour and sharp wit, Elliott Erwitt (born 1928) rose to fame after he was invited to join Magnum photos by founding member Robert Capa in the 1950s. He has since become one of the world’s most successful and influential photographers, having produced over twenty retrospective photography books and been honoured by numerous solo shows at establishments such as the Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. He is represented in the United Kingdom by Huxley-Parlour Gallery.

All works are available for purchase – please click on an image for further information.

Works

Orleans, France, 1952

Elliott Erwitt

Grace Kelly, New York City, 1956

Elliott Erwitt

New York City, 1974

Elliott Erwitt

Prado Museum, Madrid, 1995

Elliott Erwitt

East Hampton, New York, 1998

Elliott Erwitt

The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York, 1949

Elliott Erwitt

Valencia, Spain, 1952

Elliott Erwitt

Empire State Building, New York City, 1955

Elliott Erwitt

Steam Train Press, Wyoming, 1954

Elliott Erwitt

Ballycotton, Ireland, 1968

Elliott Erwitt

‘The Misfits’ Contact Sheet, 1960

Elliott Erwitt

Contact Sheet Number 573, 1956

Elliott Erwitt

Contact Sheet 571, 1956

Elliott Erwitt

‘The Seven Year Itch’ Contact Sheet, 1954

Elliott Erwitt

New York City, 1988

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe, New York, 1956

Elliott Erwitt

Flatiron Building, New York City, Usa, 1969

Elliott Erwitt

New York, Usa, 1969

Elliott Erwitt

Third Avenue El, New York City, 1954

Elliott Erwitt

New York City, 1948

Elliott Erwitt

Bridgehampton, New York, 1982

Elliott Erwitt

Pasadena, California, 1963

Elliott Erwitt

London, England, 1974

Elliott Erwitt

Versailles, France, 1975

Elliott Erwitt

Paris, France, 1992

Elliott Erwitt

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1950

Elliott Erwitt

Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, December 1950

Elliott Erwitt

Armistice Day Parade, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 1950

Elliott Erwitt

Wilmington, North Carolina, 1950

Elliott Erwitt

New York City, 1954

Elliott Erwitt

Papeete, Tahiti, 1980

Elliott Erwitt

Amagansett, New York, 1969

Elliott Erwitt

Huntsville, Alabama, 1974

Elliott Erwitt

Arthur Miller In Front Of Brooklyn Bridge, New York, 1954

Elliott Erwitt

Rudolf Nureyev, New York City, 1963

Elliott Erwitt

Che Guevara, Havana, 1964

Elliott Erwitt

New Orleans, Louisiana, 1949

Elliott Erwitt

New York City, 1953

Elliott Erwitt

Coney Island, New York, 1956

Elliott Erwitt

Neuilly, Paris, 1952

Elliott Erwitt

Neuilly, Paris, 1952

Elliott Erwitt

Neuilly, Paris, 1952

Elliott Erwitt

Neuilly, Paris, 1952

Elliott Erwitt

Arkansas, 1954

Elliott Erwitt

Budapest, 1964

Elliott Erwitt

Arizona, 1978

Elliott Erwitt

Fidel Castro, Havana, 1964

Elliott Erwitt

Nikita Khrushchev And Richard Nixon, Moscow, 1959

Elliott Erwitt

Che Guevara, Havana, 1964

Elliott Erwitt

London, England, 1966

Elliott Erwitt

Paris, 1989

Elliott Erwitt

Santa Monica, California, 1955

Elliott Erwitt

Paris, France, 1989

Elliott Erwitt

Paris, 1969

Elliott Erwitt

Managua, Nicaragua, 1957

Elliott Erwitt

Bakersfield, California, 1983

Elliott Erwitt

Birmingham, England, 1991

Elliott Erwitt

Che Guevara, Havana, 1964

Elliott Erwitt

Muhammad Ali Vs Joe Frazier, New York City, 1971

Elliott Erwitt

Hungary, 1964

Elliott Erwitt

New York City, 1946

Elliott Erwitt

Prado Museum, Madrid, 1995

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe, New York, 1954

Elliott Erwitt

Florida Keys, 1968

Elliott Erwitt

Arthur Miller, Frank Taylor, Eli Wallach, John Houston, Montgomery Clift, Marilyn Monroe And Clark Gable, ‘The Misfits’ Set, Reno, Nevada, 1960

Elliott Erwitt

New York City, 1990

Elliott Erwitt

New York City, 1990

Elliott Erwitt

New York City, 2000

Elliott Erwitt

Daytona Beach, Florida, 1975

Elliott Erwitt

Cannes, France, 1975

Elliott Erwitt

Cannes, France, 1975

Elliott Erwitt

New Haven, Connecticut, 1955

Elliott Erwitt

Kent, England, 1968

Elliott Erwitt

Coney Island, New York, 1975

Elliott Erwitt

East Hampton, New York, 1983

Elliott Erwitt

Paris, 1970

Elliott Erwitt

Brighton, 1966

Elliott Erwitt

Kent, England, 1984

Elliott Erwitt

Rio De Janeiro, 1984

Elliott Erwitt

Milan, Italy, 2000

Elliott Erwitt

New York City, 1963

Elliott Erwitt

Rome, 2004

Elliott Erwitt

New York City, 1956

Elliott Erwitt

Charlottenberg, Berlin, 1995

Elliott Erwitt

Venice, Italy, 1949

Elliott Erwitt

Vatican, City, 1978

Elliott Erwitt

Pope John Paul II, Rome, 1978

Elliott Erwitt

Rome, 2008

Elliott Erwitt

Pisa, 1976

Elliott Erwitt

Tuscany, Italy, 1949

Elliott Erwitt

Rome, 1959

Elliott Erwitt

Rome, 1959

Elliott Erwitt

Milan, Italy, 2002

Elliott Erwitt

Rome, 1966

Elliott Erwitt

Vatican City, Italy, 1993

Elliott Erwitt

Tuscany, Italy, 2004

Elliott Erwitt

Naples, Italy, 2004

Elliott Erwitt

Rome, 1978

Elliott Erwitt

Rome, 2005

Elliott Erwitt

Sicily, Italy, 1965

Elliott Erwitt

Rome, 1959

Elliott Erwitt

South Carolina, Usa, 1962

Elliott Erwitt

Mikonos, Greece, 1976

Elliott Erwitt

Saintes Maries De La Mer, France, 1977

Elliott Erwitt

Amagansett, New York, 1990

Elliott Erwitt

Paris, France, 1989

Elliott Erwitt

Enoshima, Japan, 2003

Elliott Erwitt

New Mexico, Usa, 1962

Elliott Erwitt

Honfleur, France, 1968

Elliott Erwitt

Left Bank Cafe, Paris, 1951

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe, Reno, Nevada, 1960

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe, Reno, Nevada, 1960

Elliott Erwitt

Montgomery Clift, Marilyn Monroe And Clark Gable, Reno, Nevada, 1960

Elliott Erwitt

Clark Gable And Marilyn Monroe, Reno, Nevada, 1960

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe On The Set Of ‘The Seven Year Itch’, New York City, 1954

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe On The Set Of ‘The Seven Year Itch’, New York City, 1954

Elliott Erwitt

Frank Taylor, Montgomery Clift, Eli Wallach, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, John Huston And Clark Gable On The Set Of ‘The Misfits’, Reno, Nevada, 1960

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe, Reno, Nevada, 1960

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe, New York, 1956

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe, New York, 1956

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe, Reno, Nevada, 1960

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe, Reno, Nevada, 1960

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe, New York, 1956

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe And Lee Strasberg Watching The Rushes Of ‘The Misfits’, Reno, Nevada, 1960

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe, New York, 1956

Elliott Erwitt

John F. Kennedy, Los Angeles, California, 1960

Elliott Erwitt

Jack Kerouac, New York City, 1953

Elliott Erwitt

Salvador Dali, 1963

Elliott Erwitt

Marilyn Monroe, New York, 1956

Elliott Erwitt

New York City, 1990

Elliott Erwitt

Early Years

Elliott Erwitt was born on 26 July 1928 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, to Russian parents and named Elio Romano Ervitz. Soon after he was born the family moved to Milan, where he spent his childhood. With war looming and the family’s Jewish background an increasing danger, on 1 September 1939 they took the last ship out of peacetime Europe on the Ile de France, arriving in New York five days after the outbreak of war. As Erwitt has said: “Thanks to Benito Mussolini, I’m an American.”

Following the separation of his parents in 1941, Erwitt moved to Los Angeles with his father and began teaching himself photography. His father later moved to New Orleans to become an antiques dealer, leaving the teenager to provide for himself by working in a bakery and photographing local occasions. Whilst studying at Hollywood High School Erwitt took photography classes. On graduating he went to work in a commercial darkroom, processing “signed” prints of movie stars. He purchased the camera of the moment, a Rolleiflex, and went on to study photography at Los Angeles City College.

Photographic Career

Leaving California at the age of eighteen because, as he said, “nothing was happening there”, Erwitt took a Greyhound bus to New York. Becoming involved in the New York photography scene, he met influential photographers, Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker. He worked with Stryker on an award-winning project to document the modernisation of Pittsburgh for the Mellon Foundation. Steichen had recently been appointed director of the department of photography and the Museum of Modern Art and would go on to curate the hugely significant The Family of Man exhibition in 1955 in which Erwitt’s photograph of his wife, his six-day-old daughter, Ellen, and their cat, Brutus, was included.

Erwitt continued to photograph through the course of his military service, during stationing in France and Germany, carrying a Leica with a collapsible lens in the pocket of his uniform. He won a Life magazine contest for his photograph Bed and Boredom, in which a Private lies on his bedsprings, and received $1500 and a letter of congratulations from the commanding general.

Before leaving to take up his post in Europe, Capa had told Erwitt to look him up in Paris, and the young photographer duly presented the revered photojournalist with some of the magazine work he had undertaken. At the end of his service, Erwitt returned to New York and joined Magnum Photos, the invitation-only agency Capa had recently established with Henri Cartier-Bresson and David “Chim” Seymour. Erwitt went on to serve three terms as the president of Magnum and remains a member to this day. His reputation grew as he undertook important assignments including “the kitchen cabinet debate” between President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev in 1959 and the funeral of John F. Kennedy at which he captured the president’s widow, Jackie Kennedy, crying behind a black veil. Other celebrities to have to have sat for Erwitt include Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Humphrey Bogart, Jack Kerouac and Grace Kelly.

Known for his dog portraits, much of Erwitt’s photography centres on humour and irony. Along with his “business” camera Erwitt would carry a “hobby” camera, a Leica M3 with a 50mm standard lens, loaded with Kodak Tri-X or Ilford HP4, on which he took many of his most famous images. During the 1970s he made short films, television advertisements and documentaries, including the award-winning Glassmakers of Heart, Afghanistan (1977).

Exhibitions and Publications

Erwitt has published over twenty books and has held solo exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2015 he was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award by the World Photography Organisation. He lives and works in New York.

Related

Notes, News and Press

Notes

Elliott Erwitt’s Platinum Prints

News

‘Elliott Erwitt: Pittsburgh 1950’ opens at the ICP, New York

Press

Wide Walls: Beetles+Huxley celebrates Elliott Erwitt’s fruitful career