Joel Meyerowitz

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Joel Meyerowitz
Meyerowitz 271104 köln galeriezander.jpg
Meyerowitz in 2004
Born (1938-03-06) March 6, 1938 (age 81)
New York, New York, U.S.

Joel Meyerowitz (born March 6, 1938)[1] is an American street, 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 photography at the Cooper Union in New York City.[2][3]

His work is in the collections of the International Center of Photography, Museum of Modern Art, and New York Public Library, all in New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.


In 1962, inspired by seeing Robert Frank at work, Meyerowitz quit his job as an art director at an advertising agency[4][5][6] and took to the streets of New York City with a 35 mm camera and color film. As well as Frank , Meyerowitz was inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Eugène Atget—he has said "In the pantheon of greats there is Robert Frank and there is Atget."[7]

After alternating between black and white and color, Meyerowitz "permanently adopted color" in 1972,[8]:182 well before John Szarkowski's promotion in 1976 of color photography in an exhibition of work by the then little-known William Eggleston.[8]:167–169 Meyerowitz also switched at this time to large format,[8]:182 often using an 8×10 camera to produce photographs of places and people.

Meyerowitz appears extensively in the 2006 BBC Four documentary series The Genius of Photography[5] and in the 2013 documentary film Finding Vivian Maier. In 2014 the documentary Sense of Time by German filmmaker Ralph Goertz was published.

He is the author of 26 books including Cape Light, considered a classic work of color photography.[9] 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.[10] This resulted in the book Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive (2006),[11] which Parr and Badger include in the third volume of their photobook history.[12]

On January 18, 2017 Meyerowitz was honored for his lifelong work with a place at the Leica Hall of Fame and was described as a "magician using colour" and being able to "both capture and framing the decisive moment".[13]

Personal life[edit]

Meyerowitz was born in the Bronx. He studied art, art history, and medical illustration at Ohio State University,[14] graduating in 1959.[15] He is married to English novelist Maggie Barrett. In addition to their home in New York City, they maintain a residence outside of Siena, Italy.[16]


Publications by Meyerowitz[edit]

  • Cape Light: Color Photographs by Joel Meyerowitz.
    • Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1979. ISBN 0-87846-132-9, ISBN 0-87846-131-0.
    • New York: Aperture, 2015. ISBN 978-1-59711-339-7. With a transcript of an interview between Meyerowitz and Bruce K. MacDonald. "Remastered".[17]
  • 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, 1993. ISBN 0-82122-037-3.
  • At the Water's Edge. Boston: Bulfinch, 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
  • Out of the Ordinary 1970-1980. Rotterdam: Episode, 2007. ISBN 90-5973-067-4.
  • 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. ISBN 978-4905052616. Edition of 500 copies.
  • Joel Meyerowitz - Retrospective. Cologne / New York: Koenig Books / D.A.P., 2014. ISBN 978-3-86335-588-3.
  • Glimpse. Tokyo: Super Labo, 2014. ISBN 978-4-905052-73-9. Edition of 1000 copies.
  • Out of the Darkness: Six months in Andalusia 1966~1967. Madrid: La Fábrica, 2018. ISBN 9788417048433.
  • Where I Find Myself: A Lifetime Retrospective. London: Laurence King, 2018. ISBN 978-1786271860. With a text by Colin Westerbeck.

Publications with contributions by Meyerowitz[edit]



  • 2012: Joel Meyerowitz - 50 Years of Photographs Part I: 1962 - 1977, November–December 2012;[21] and Joel Meyerowitz - 50 Years of Photographs Part II: 1976 - 2012, December 2012 – January 2013,[22] Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York.
  • 2014: Joel Meyerowitz Retrospective, NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, curated by Ralph Goertz,[23]
  • 2015: Joel Meyerowitz - Retrospective, KunstHausWien, curated by Verena Kaspar-Eisert[24]



  1. ^ "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation". Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  2. ^ "Joel Meyerowitz" International Center of Photography. Accessed 15 June 2017
  3. ^ Nate Rawlings, "Taking His Time: A Look Back at 50 Years of Joel Meyerowitz's Photographs" Time (magazine), 2 November 2012. Accessed 15 June 2017
  4. ^ Rawlings, Nate (2 November 2012). "Taking His Time: A Look Back at 50 Years of Joel Meyerowitz's Photographs". Time. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b The Genius of Photography. BBC. Archived from the original on 1 December 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  6. ^ "Visions and Images: Joel Meyerowitz, 1981" (Interview). Interviewed by Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel. Retrieved 28 November 2011. You were working as an art director at a small advertising agency when you decided to try photography
  7. ^ "Joel Meyerowitz". IIPA - International Institute of Photographic Arts. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Gilles Mora, The Last Photographic Heroes: American Photographers of the Sixties and Seventies (New York: Abrams, 2007)
  9. ^ "Robert Koch Gallery - Exhibition Detail - Joel Meyerowitz". Retrieved 1 December 2011. His first book, Cape Light, is considered a classic work of color photography
  10. ^ Neil Harris Joel Meyerowitz: Ground Zero, Then and Now, Time, 10 September 2011
  11. ^ Coleman, Sarah (n.d.). "Picturing Ground Zero" (jsp). Photo District News. Retrieved 16 October 2007.
  12. ^ Parr, Martin, Badger, Gerry (2014). The Photobook: A History Volume III. London: Phaidon. p. 205. ISBN 9780714866772.
  13. ^ "Leica M10 Launch Event". Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  14. ^ "About". Joel Meyerowitz. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Joel Meyerowitz". International Center of Photography. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  16. ^ Jeffries, Stuart (7 March 2018). "Photography legend Joel Meyerowitz: phones killed the sexiness of the street". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Cape Light: Photographs by Joel Meyerowitz". Aperture Foundation. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  18. ^ a b Suzanne Muchnic, "Joel Meyerowitz, the laid-back lensman", Los Angeles Times, July 21, 1985. Accessed 2011-12-21.
  19. ^ a b "Joel Meyerowitz HonFRPS, Centenary Medal Winner 2012". Royal Photographic Society. October 10, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  20. ^ "Die Sieger 2006/2007 Archived 2010-11-10 at the Wayback Machine", Deutscher Fotobuchpreis website. Accessed 2011-12-21.
  21. ^ "Main Gallery - Joel Meyerowitz - 50 Years of Photographs Part I: 1962 - 1977 - Exhibitions - Howard Greenberg Gallery".
  22. ^ "Main Gallery - Joel Meyerowitz - 50 Years of Photographs Part II: 1976 - 2012 - Exhibitions - Howard Greenberg Gallery".
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Joel Meyerowitz". International Center of Photography. June 14, 2019.
  26. ^ "Museum of Contemporary Photography".
  27. ^ "Joel Meyerowitz | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art.
  28. ^ "Wallach Prints and Photos Search Results".

External links[edit]