2018 Great Immigrants Recipient

Elliott Erwitt
Born in:

“A picture that engages you, that makes you think, that gives you some kind of emotion, makes you laugh or cry. That’s a good picture," photographer Elliott Erwitt told “Time” magazine in 2011. Erwitt joined The Magnum Photos agency in 1953 and launched a successful career that encompassed commercial, journalistic, editorial and personal photography. He captured some of America’s major historical events — the 1959 “kitchen cabinet debate” between President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev for one. He also created images of some of the most memorable icons of the 20th century, including Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy and Fidel Castro. Erwitt is also known for his photographs of ironic or absurd situations, finding the humorous in everyday life, with the antics of dogs a favorite subject. Besides his work on films and documentaries, he has produced over 20 retrospective photography books.  Erwin’s artistry has earned him numerous solo shows at museums including the Smithsonian Institution and the Museum of Modern Art. He is a veteran of the U.S. military having been stationed in New Jersey, France and Germany in the early 1950s. Updated July 2018