Lecturers: Steven Hoelscher, Departments of American Studies and Geography, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin
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Born in 1928, Elliott Erwitt has been a documentarian for more than six decades, longer than any other American photographer. Starting in his twenties, his classic image of a mother and child on a bed was featured in the famous Family of Man exhibition in 1955. At the time this was considered the greatest photographic exhibition of all time with 503 pictures exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, and curated by Edward Steichen. Erwitt has lived all over the world, speaks three languages, has photographed countless celebrities from Grace Kelly to Clark Gable as well as seven presidents. He has won every award his profession can offer, is a past president of Magnum…the finest photo agency in the world…and recently was honored with a one man exhibition by the International Center of Photography for his lifetime contribution to the medium.” This new exhibition includes over 90 images hand selected by Erwitt himself.
In his essay for the gallery guide, Steven Hoelscher, Departments of American Studies and Geography, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, writes, “This exhibition offers an enticing window into Elliott Erwitt’s oeuvre. It showcases the impressive results of a remarkable career that coincides with two of the most significant developments in photography in the second half of the twentieth century: the rise of mass-circulation picture magazines; and the occasionally contentious relationship between personal work and commercial photography. Elliott Erwitt has been a vital figure in each of these domains, as noted by his colleague, Henri Cartier-Bresson: “Elliott has, to my mind, achieved a miracle working on a chain-gang of commercial campaigns and still offering a bouquet of stolen photographs with a flavor, a smile from his deeper self.” This exhibition shows both the miracle of Erwitt’s balance between commercial and personal photography, and the memorable flavor that he brings to his work.”
The exhibition was previously exhitibed at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL, in 2015. The exhibition is available for scheduling through 2024.
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Collection and interpretation
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Past and Future Venues
2019, 3 months, at Springfield Museums, Springfield, MA, USA