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Archive: Elliott Erwitt’s Archive 
to be Housed at the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin

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Many thankx to the Harry Ransom Center for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Elliott Erwitt
BRAZIL. Buzios. 1990.
© Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS

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Elliott Erwitt
USA. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 1950.
© Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS

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Elliott Erwitt
Jackie Kennedy, Arlington, Virginia, 1963.
© Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS

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Elliott Erwitt
Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon, Moscow, 1959.
© Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS

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“The archive of photographer Elliott Erwitt (b. 1928), which includes more than 50,000 signed photographic prints, will be housed at the Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin. Spanning more than six decades of Erwitt’s career, the archive covers not only his work for magazine, industrial and advertising clients but also photographs that have emerged from personal interests. Collectors and philanthropists Caryl and Israel Englander have placed the archive at the Ransom Center for five years, making it accessible to researchers, scholars and students.

Born in Paris to Russian émigré parents, Erwitt spent his formative years in Milan and then immigrated to the United States, living in Los Angeles and ultimately New York. In 1948, Erwitt actively began his career and met photographers Robert Capa, Edward Steichen and Roy Stryker, all who would become mentors. In 1953, Erwitt was invited to join Magnum Photos by Capa, one of the founders of the photographic co-operative. Ten years later, Erwitt became president of the agency for three terms. A member of the Magnum organization for more than 50 years, Erwitt’s archive will be held alongside the Magnum Photos collection at the Ransom Center. While many of Erwitt’s photographs capture the famous, from Richard Nixon arguing with Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow in 1959 to Jacqueline Kennedy at her husband’s funeral, other subjects include everyday people, places and even dogs, a longtime love of Erwitt’s.

“The work I care about is terribly simple,” said Erwitt in “Personal Exposures” (1988). “I observe, I try to entertain, but above all I want pictures that are emotion. Little else interests me in photography. Today, so much is being done by unemotional people, or at least it looks that way…I mean, work that’s fascinating and fun and clever and technically brilliant. But if it’s not personal, then it misses what interesting photography is about.”

Exhibitions of Erwitt’s work have been featured at institutions ranging from The Museum of Modern Art in New York to The Museum of Modern Art in Paris, and his work is represented in numerous major institutions.

“Whether capturing the everyday or the extraordinary, Erwitt’s work always has a wonderful element of accessibility,” said Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley. “Housing the collection here adds a new dimension to that access.”

In addition to providing access to the archive, the Ransom Center will promote interest in the collection through lectures, fellowships and exhibitions.”

Text from the Harry Ransom Center website

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Elliott Erwitt
USA. New York City. 1988.
© Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS.

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Elliott Erwitt
USA. Reno, Nevada. 1960.
(on the set of the film The Misfits with Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift and Clark Gable)
© Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS.

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Elliott Erwitt
CUBA. Havana. 1964.
(Che Guevara)
© Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS.

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Archivist Amy Armstrong inspects a box from the archive of Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt.
Photo by Pete Smith.
Image courtesy of Harry Ransom Center.

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The Harry Ransom Center
21st and Guadalupe Streets
Austin, Texas 78712
Phone: 512-471-8944

Exhibition Galleries Opening Hours:
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Thursday
Noon – 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Library Reading/Viewing Rooms Opening Hours:
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday
9 a.m. – Noon Saturday

Harry Ransom Center website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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