Elliott Erwitt, American Photographer With A French Accent

Elliott Erwitt, American Photographer With A French Accent

Who Is Elliott Erwitt?

American Photographer, Elliott Erwitt, could just as easily be called a French Photographer with an American accent. Born in Paris in 1928, Erwitt migrated with his family to the United States in 1939 after spending his early childhood in Milan, Italy. He studied photography and filmmaking, graduating from The New School for Social Research in New York City in 1950.

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My first experience with Elliott Erwitt came when I was given Dog DogsElliott Erwitt, American Photographer With A French Accent, his insightful, loving book about the canines he loves so much.

Later, i was given a framed poster of his photograph of the crowds on Fifth Avenue.

As an early member of of the famous Magnum Photos agency, he was able to shoot around the world and contribute to the best of the then popular photo magazines, Colliers, Look and Life. Many of this pictures have become indelible icons by which people remember great places in the world.

Not just rural scenes of a disappearing French countryside, but also new ways of seeing the great cities.

Erwitt has, in his many collections, not just the great pictures of people and dogs, often caught in humorous situations, but his exceptional access allowed him to photograph Che Guevara realistically and to capture the cast of The Misfits. The cast includes both Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, both of whom died soon after the film was completed, making this the last picture for each of them.

People accustomed to Elliott Erwitt’s realistic views of people in cities or of dogs doing whatever it is dogs do can be surprised at the stunning poetry of the view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Although best known for his photography, Elliot Erwitt has also made films and has directed or worked on popular releases like Gimme Shelter and, more recently, Bob Dylan: No Direction Home.

The International Center of Photography picked Erwiit for the ICP Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2011.

David Stone, Writer