Joel Meyerowitz in 2004
March 6, 1938 |
New York, New York, United States
Joel Meyerowitz (born March 6, 1938) is a street photographer, and portrait and landscape photographer. He began photographing in color in 1962 and was an early advocate of the use of color during a time when there was significant resistance to the idea of color photography as serious art. In the early 1970s he taught the first color course at the Cooper Union in New York City where many of today's renowned color photographers studied with him.
Life and career
Inspired by seeing Robert Frank at work, Meyerowitz quit his job as an art director at an advertising agency and took to the streets of New York City with a 35mm camera and black-and-white film, alongside Garry Winogrand, Tony Ray-Jones, Lee Friedlander, Tod Papageorge and Diane Arbus. He drew inspiration from Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank and Eugène Atget — he has said "In the pantheon of greats there is Robert Frank and there is Atget." 
After alternating between black-and-white and color, Meyerowitz "permanently adopted color" in 1972, well before John Szarkowski's promotion in 1976 of color photography in an exhibition of work by the then little-known William Eggleston. Meyerowitz also switched at this time to large format, often using an 8×10 camera to produce photographs of places and people.
Meyerowitz is the author of 16 books including Cape Light, considered a classic work of color photography.
Meyerowitz photographed the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, and was the only photographer allowed unrestricted access to its "ground zero" immediately following the attack. A number of these images have since been made into a book, Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive.
- Guggenheim Fellow (twice)
- National Endowment for the Arts award
- National Endowment for the Humanities award
- Deutscher Fotobuchpreis (the German photobook prize) for Aftermath
- The Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 2012.
- Cape Light: Color Photographs by Joel Meyerowitz. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1979. ISBN 0-87846-132-9, ISBN 0-87846-131-0
- St. Louis and the Arch. New York: New York Graphic Society, 1980. ISBN 0-82121-093-9
- Wild Flowers. Boston: Bulfinch, 1983. ISBN 0-82121-528-0
- A Summer's Day. New York: Crown, 1985. ISBN 0-81291-182-2
- Creating a Sense of Place. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990. ISBN 1560980044
- Redheads. New York, NY: Rizzoli, 1991. ISBN 0-84781-419-X
- Bay/Sky. Boston: Bulfinch Press, 1993. ISBN 0-82122-037-3
- Bystander: A History of Street Photography. With Colin Westerbeck. Boston: Bulfinch Press, 1994. ISBN 0-82121-755-0
- At the Water's Edge. Boston: Bulfinch Press, 1996. ISBN 0-82122-310-0
- Joel Meyerowitz. Text by Colin Westerbeck. 55. London: Phaidon, 2001. ISBN 0-7148-4021-1
- Tuscany: Inside the Light. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2003. ISBN 1-40274-321-1
- Aftermath. London: Phaidon, 2006. ISBN 0-71484-655-4
- Out of the Ordinary 1970-1980. Rotterdam: Episode, 2007. ISBN 90-5973-067-4
- Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive. London: Phaidon, 2011. ISBN 0-71486-212-6
- Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks. New York: Aperture, 2009. ISBN 1-59711-122-8
- Between the Dog and the Wolf. Kamakura, Japan: Super Labo, 2013. Hardcover, first edition of 500.
In popular culture
- The Genius of Photography. BBC. Archived from the original on 2011-12-1. Retrieved 2011-12-1. "ever since he threw over a career as an art director, after seeing Robert Frank at work"
- Visions and Images: Joel Meyerowitz, 1981. Interview with Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel. Retrieved 2011-11-28. "You were working as an art director at a small advertising agency when you decided to try photography"
- Visions and Images: Joel Meyerowitz, 1981. Interview with Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- "Joel Meyerowitz". IIPA - International Institute of Photographic Arts. iipa.org. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- Gilles Mora, The Last Photographic Heroes: American Photographers of the Sixties and Seventies (New York: Abrams, 2007), p.182.
- Mora, The Last Photographic Heroes, pp.167–169.
- The Genius of Photography.
- "Robert Koch Gallery - Exhibition Detail - Joel Meyerowitz". Retrieved 2011-12-01. "His first book, Cape Light, is considered a classic work of color photography"
- Neil Harris Joel Meyerowitz: Ground Zero, Then and Now, Time,September 10, 2011
- Coleman, Sarah (undated). "Picturing Ground Zero" (jsp). Photo District News. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
- Suzanne Muchnic, "Joel Meyerowitz, the laid-back lensman", Los Angeles Times, July 21, 1985. Accessed 2011-12-21.
- "Joel Meyerowitz HonFRPS, Centenary Medal Winner 2012". Royal Photographic Society. October 10, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- "Die Sieger 2006/2007", Deutscher Fotobuchpreis website. Accessed 2011-12-21.
- "Between the Dog and the Wolf". Super Labo. Retrieved 26 November 2013.