Description

Elliott Erwitt traveled in France and Italy in 1949 with his trusty Rolleiflex camera and from 1951, he was drafted for military service and undertook various photographic duties while serving in a unit of the Army Signal Corps in Germany and France. Here, he captures an atmospheric Orléans alleyway in 1955.

It's about reacting to what you see, hopefully without preconception.

Elliott Erwitt
© Elliott Erwitt | Magnum Photos
Born in Paris in 1928 to Russian parents, Elliott Erwitt spent his childhood in Milan, then emigrated to the US, via France, with his family in 1939. As a teenager living in Hollywood, he developed an interest in photography and worked in a commercial darkroom before experimenting with at Los Angeles City College. In 1948, he moved to New York and exchanged janitorial work for film classes at the New School for Social Research. Five years later, Erwitt joined Magnum Photos and worked as a freelance photographer for Collier’s, Look, LIFE, Holiday and other luminaries in that golden period for illustrated magazines. He has made significant bodies of work in America, Cuba, the UK, France, Italy and beyond. In the 1970s, he produced several notable documentaries and in the 1980s eighteen comedy films for HBO. Erwitt has become known for benevolent irony, and for a humanistic sensibility traditional to the spirit of Magnum.
© Elliott Erwitt | Magnum Photos

Get Magnum news and updates directly to your inbox

Stay in touch
Stay up to date every Thursday with Magnum photographers’ activities, new work, stories published on the Magnum website, and the latest offerings from our shop.
Be the first to know about recent Magnum Shop drops. From new books and limited editions, to special offers, you can find it all on the weekly Magnum Shop newsletter.
Get fortnightly tips and advice articles, find out about the latest workshops, free online events and on-demand courses.
Learn about online and offline exhibitions, photography fairs, gallery events, plus fine print news and activities, on a monthly basis.
Know when our quarterly 7-day square print sale is coming.
Monthly updates on the latest assignments, photographer projects and collaborations with brands.