Description

Elliott Erwitt, took this picture of his six-day-old daughter, Ellen, and his wife, Lucienne Matthews, in the summer of 1953, in his first apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Though Erwitt sees it as a simple family portrait, it was among the most widely reproduced images of its time, having appeared in Edward Steichen’s seminal 1955 photography exhibition (and book), Family of Man, and in magazines, on postcards and even in drug company advertisements.

You can find pictures anywhere. It's simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them.

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

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