Magnum, Obit: Elliott Erwitt (1928–2023)

USA. New York, New York. 1999.
[1928 — 2023]
Tribute to the very great photographer who has just passed away, famous for his humor and passion for dogs.
Elliott Erwitt has regularly participated at the Rencontres d’Arles since the 1970s.
Goodbye and thank you Elliott…

In July 2012, at the Théâtre Antique, the Rencontres d’Arles, led at the time by François Hébel, invited Elliott Erwitt to come alone on stage to present his work.
Watch the full evening here:
→ Part one
→ Part two

Magnum : Field Notes

December 2023, No. 118
Elliott Erwitt (1928–2023)

Remembering Elliott Erwitt
Elliott Erwitt passed away peacefully on Wednesday night at his home in Manhattan, surrounded by his family. This week, we look back and celebrate the life and career of the legendary photographer and long-time Magnum member. 

More on this Early Work in Pittsburgh

In 1950, a 22-year-old Erwitt stepped off a Greyhound bus in Pittsburg, armed with a Leica IIIc and Rolleiflex. Today, looking back at his early series on the post-war city in Pennsylvania, we see the makings of his distinct and iconic photographic style. 

More on this Behind the Image:
The Kitchen Debate

In July 1959, Erwitt captured the iconic image of what appears to be a moment of serious confrontation between U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in a model American kitchen during Nixon’s visit to Moscow. 

More on thisInside the World of
Elliott Erwitt 

“It’s hard to portray someone as big as him,” says Adriana Lopez Sanfeliu, past assistant to Erwitt and director of the documentary Silence Sounds Good. Released in 2019, it follows then 80-year-old Erwitt on a trip to Cuba and going about his busy days in New York.

More on this
The Art of Looking at Art

“I am a dedicated people watcher who loves to see art and art watchers watching,” Erwitt wrote in his book, Museum Watching, published in 1999. “In the end all museums are interesting. Even when they’re not.”

More on thisThe Benevolent Voyeur

“In Erwitt’s work,” writes Darran Anderson, “we find the revelatory thrill of the benevolent voyeur; a position occupied not just by the photographer but also by the viewer and, very often, the subject.”

More on thisBehind the Image: 
A Bulldog in New York

“I don’t know of any other animals closer to us in qualities of heart, sentiment and loyalty,” Erwitt once wrote of dogs. Here, we revisit the story behind the comical photograph of a bulldog on its owner’s lap — a shot that he had to hastily borrow a camera to capture. 

More on thisElliott Erwitt: 
A Retrospective

Currently on view at La Sucrière in Lyon, France is a major retrospective of Erwitt’s work, featuring 215 black and white and color photographs. The exhibition reflects the diversity of subjects addressed throughout his career and the profound unity of Erwitt’s work. 

More on this