Elliott Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt (1928- ) was born in Paris to Russian émigré parents. He spent his childhood in Milan, Italy andlived briefly in Paris, before moving to Los Angeles via New York in 1939. In Hollywood his interest in photography began and he studied the subject at Los Angeles City College. In 1948 Erwitt moved to New York City and there met Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker who became significant mentors. From 1948-50, Erwitt studied film at the New School for Social Research.  He spent 1949 traveling in France and Italy, and returned to the United States to begin his career as a professional photographer.  In 1951, Erwitt was drafted into the army where he continued to make photographs while stationed in Germany and France.   Back in New York after service,  Erwitt, with an invitation from Capa, became a member of Magnum Photos.  He has been a member ever since, serving several terms as president of the fabled organization.  A major figure in the highly competitive field of magazine photography,  Erwitt’s  portraits, photo essays and advertisements have been featured in periodicals around the world for the last half-century.  Over the years he has made a specialty of capturing both the famous and the ordinary, the strange and the mundane in his own unmistakable, often humorous style.  He has also been active in filmmaking since 1970, producing seventeen comedy and satire specials for Home Box Office.  The artist has also published dozens of books over the years on all aspects of his output, with a special emphasis on one of his favorite subjects, the canine.  Being an obsessive traveler has proved handy as Erwitt has had numerous exhibitions in museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Smithsonian Institution, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, Paris; and Zurich’s Kunsthaus, among others.   Erwitt is also represented by a score of important galleries around the globe.  His works are in most important museums as well as in hundreds of private collections.