Joel Meyerowitz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Joel Meyerowitz
Meyerowitz 271104 köln galeriezander.jpg
Joel Meyerowitz in 2004
Born (1938-03-06) March 6, 1938 (age 79)
New York, New York, U.S.
Occupation Photographer

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 photography at the Cooper Union in New York City.[1][2]

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[3][4][5] and took to the streets of New York City with a 35 mm camera and black-and-white film. Garry Winogrand,[5] Tony Ray-Jones, Lee Friedlander, Tod Papageorge and Diane Arbus were photographing there at the same time. Meyerowitz was inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank and Eugène Atget — he has said "In the pantheon of greats there is Robert Frank and there is Atget."[6]

After alternating between black-and-white and color, Meyerowitz "permanently adopted color" in 1972,[7]:182 well before John Szarkowski's promotion in 1976 of color photography in an exhibition of work by the then little-known William Eggleston.[7]:167–169 Meyerowitz also switched at this time to large format,[7]: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[4] 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 16 books including Cape Light, considered a classic work of color photography.[8] 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.[9] This resulted in his book Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive (2006),[10] which Parr and Badger include the 2011 edition of, in the third volume of their photobook history.[11]

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".[12]


Publications by Meyerowitz[edit]

Publications with contributions by Meyerowitz[edit]

  • Bystander: A History of Street Photography. With Colin Westerbeck.
    • Bystander: A History of Street Photography. Boston: Bulfinch, 1994. ISBN 0-82121-755-0. Hardback.
    • Bystander: a History of Street Photography: with a new afterword on street photography since the 1970s. Boston: Bulfinch, 2001. 440 pages. ISBN 0-8212-2726-2. Paperback.
  • Street Photography Now. London: Thames & Hudson, 2010. ISBN 978-0-500-54393-1 (hardback). London: Thames & Hudson, 2011. ISBN 978-0-500-28907-5 (paperback). Edited by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren.



  • 2012: Joel Meyerowitz - 50 Years of Photographs Part I: 1962 - 1977, November–December 2012;[17] and Joel Meyerowitz - 50 Years of Photographs Part II: 1976 - 2012, December 2012 – January 2013,[18] Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York.
  • 2014: Joel Meyerowitz Retrospective, NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, curated by Ralph Goertz,[19]
  • 2015: Joel Meyerowitz - Retrospective, KunstHausWien, curated by Verena Kaspar-Eisert[20]



  1. ^ "Joel Meyerowitz" International Center of Photography. Accessed 15 June 2017
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Rawlings, Nate (2 November 2012). "Taking His Time: A Look Back at 50 Years of Joel Meyerowitz's Photographs". Time. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  4. ^ a b The Genius of Photography. BBC. Archived from the original on 1 December 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Visions and Images: Joel Meyerowitz, 1981" (Interview). Interview with 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 
  6. ^ "Joel Meyerowitz". IIPA - International Institute of Photographic Arts. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c Gilles Mora, The Last Photographic Heroes: American Photographers of the Sixties and Seventies (New York: Abrams, 2007)
  8. ^ "Robert Koch Gallery - Exhibition Detail - Joel Meyerowitz". Retrieved 1 December 2011. His first book, Cape Light, is considered a classic work of color photography 
  9. ^ Neil Harris Joel Meyerowitz: Ground Zero, Then and Now, Time, 10 September 2011
  10. ^ Coleman, Sarah (n.d.). "Picturing Ground Zero" (jsp). Photo District News. Retrieved 16 October 2007. 
  11. ^ Parr, Martin, Badger, Gerry (2014). The Photobook: A History Volume III. London: Phaidon. p. 205. ISBN 9780714866772. 
  12. ^ "Leica M10 Launch Event". Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  13. ^ "Cape Light: Photographs by Joel Meyerowitz". Aperture Foundation. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Suzanne Muchnic, "Joel Meyerowitz, the laid-back lensman", Los Angeles Times, July 21, 1985. Accessed 2011-12-21.
  15. ^ a b "Joel Meyerowitz HonFRPS, Centenary Medal Winner 2012". Royal Photographic Society. October 10, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Die Sieger 2006/2007", Deutscher Fotobuchpreis website. Accessed 2011-12-21.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^

External links[edit]