Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

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Elliott Erwitt

“To me, photography is an art of observation,” said Erwitt. “It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

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Throughout six decades of making pictures, Erwitt has been recognized for his versatility. While famous for personal photographs of people and dogs and widely reproduced commercial imagery, Erwitt is also respected for his work as a photojournalist. Among the iconic moments he has captured with his camera are the Khrushchev-Nixon “Kitchen Debate” in 1959, and Jacqueline Kennedy, veiled and in distress at the funeral of her husband in 1963; his photograph of segregated water is a poignant reminder of the injustices of the Jim Crow South. Erwitt is also celebrated for portraits, including such distinguished subjects as Grace Kelly, Alfred Hitchcock, Jack Kerouac, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, and Che Guevara.

Internationally renowned for his photographs, Erwitt is also a recognized filmmaker. His documentaries include Beauty Knows No Pain, Red, White and Blue Grass, and The Glassmakers of Herat. He has also produced seventeen comedies and satires for HBO. To date, he has authored more than twenty photography books, including Eastern Europe (1965), Photographs and Anti-Photographs (1972), Son of Bitch (1974), Personal Exposures (1988), Between the Sexes ( 1994), Elliott Erwitt’s Handbook (2002), and Elliott Erwitt: Personal Best (2009).

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