Eliot Elisofon

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Eliot Elisofon
Eliot elisofon and dr pascal imperato.jpg
Born (1911-04-17)April 17, 1911
Died April 7, 1973(1973-04-07) (aged 61)
Nationality American
Education DeWitt Clinton High School
Alma mater Fordham University
Occupation photojournalist
Known for Photo League
Spouse(s) Mavis Lyons;
Joan Baker Spear

Eliot Elisofon (April 17, 1911 - April 7, 1973) was an American documentary photographer and photojournalist.


From the Lower East Side of New York City, Elisofon graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in 1929 and Fordham University in 1933.[1] He was married twice, in 1940 to Mavis Lyons whom he divorced in 1946, and to Joan Baker Spear in 1950, with whom he had two daughters Elin and Jill.

He is a founding member of the Photo League in 1936. He was one of the most active and productive members: he gave guest lectures (1938–43); co-organized the Men at Work project with Lewis Hine (1940); served periodically as president between 1939 and 1941; taught courses on photojournalism and flash photography (1940–41); and participated in numerous exhibitions.[2]

From 1938-1942, he ran a commercial photography studio. He was hired as a photographer in the Federal Writers' Project series These Are Our Lives in 1939. From 1942-1964, he worked for Life magazine as a full-time appointment as a staff photographer.[3]

In the 1950s and 1960s, Elisofon worked as a color consultant in the motion pictures industry, including the 1952 film Moulin Rouge by director John Huston and the 1965 film The Greatest Story Ever Told by director George Stevens).[4]

Elisofon taught at many institutions including American Artists School (1936-1941), Museum of Modern Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Yale University, Syracuse University, Radcliffe College, Wellesley College and Sarah Lawrence College.

Recent Exhibitions (Selection)[edit]


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