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Joel Meyerowitz

Joel Meyerowitz
Joel Meyerowitz in 2004
Born (1938-03-06) March 6, 1938
New York, New York, United States
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 the first color course at the Cooper Union in New York City where many of today's renowned color photographers studied with him.


  • Career 1
  • Publications 2
    • Publications by Meyerowitz 2.1
    • Publications with contributions by Meyerowitz 2.2
  • Awards 3
  • In popular culture 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


In 1962, inspired by seeing Diane Arbus were photographing there at the same time. Meyerowitz was inspired Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank and Eugène Atget — he has said "In the pantheon of greats there is Robert Frank and there is Atget."[4]

After alternating between black-and-white and color, Meyerowitz "permanently adopted color" in 1972,[5]:182 well before John Szarkowski's promotion in 1976 of color photography in an exhibition of work by the then little-known William Eggleston.[5]:167-169 Meyerowitz also switched at this time to large format,[5]: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[2] and in the 2013 documentary film Finding Vivian Maier.

He is the author of 16 books including Cape Light, considered a classic work of color photography.[6] 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.[7] This resulted in his book Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive (2006),[8] which Parr and Badger include the 2011 edition of in the third volume of their photobook history.[9]


Publications by Meyerowitz

  • 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".[10]
  • 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.

Publications with contributions by Meyerowitz

  • 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.


In popular culture

Meyerowitz's photograph "New York City, 1963" is used in Taking Back Sunday's third album, Louder Now.


  1. ^ Rawlings, Nate (2 November 2012). "Taking His Time: A Look Back at 50 Years of Joel Meyerowitz’s Photographs".  
  2. ^ a b The Genius of Photography. BBC. Archived from the original on 2011-12-1. Retrieved 2011-12-1. 
  3. ^ a b 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 
  4. ^ "Joel Meyerowitz". IIPA - International Institute of Photographic Arts. Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Gilles Mora, The Last Photographic Heroes: American Photographers of the Sixties and Seventies (New York: Abrams, 2007)
  6. ^ "Robert Koch Gallery - Exhibition Detail - Joel Meyerowitz". Retrieved 2011-12-01. His first book, Cape Light, is considered a classic work of color photography 
  7. ^ Neil Harris Joel Meyerowitz: Ground Zero, Then and Now, Time,September 10, 2011
  8. ^ Coleman, Sarah (n.d.). "Picturing Ground Zero" (jsp). Photo District News. Retrieved 2007-10-16. 
  9. ^ Parr, Martin, Badger, Gerry (2014). The Photobook: A History Volume III. London: Phaidon. p. 205.  
  10. ^ "Cape Light: Photographs by Joel Meyerowitz".  
  11. ^ a b Suzanne Muchnic, "Joel Meyerowitz, the laid-back lensman", Los Angeles Times, July 21, 1985. Accessed 2011-12-21.
  12. ^ a b "Joel Meyerowitz HonFRPS, Centenary Medal Winner 2012". Royal Photographic Society. October 10, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Die Sieger 2006/2007", Deutscher Fotobuchpreis website. Accessed 2011-12-21.

External links

  • Official website
  • Joel Meyerowitz and Maggie Barrett blog about preparing new Provence book
  • Joel Meyerowitz on the Howard Greenberg Gallery website
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