Elliott Erwitt – Pittsburgh 1950
136 pages, 22.5 x 30.5 cm , 1166 g.
Elliott Erwitt – Pittsburgh 1950
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In 1950, 22-year-old Elliott Erwitt was commissioned by the legendary Roy Stryker to document Pittsburgh as it emerged from a notoriously polluted industrial city into a cleaner, more modern metropolis. Shooting for Stryker’s newly organised Pittsburgh Photographic Library, Erwitt’s photographs captured the humanity and spirit of the people of the city against the angular industrial architecture. Drafted into the US army in Germany just four months after arriving in Pittsburgh, Erwitt was forced to abandon the project, leaving his negatives behind. For decades, the negatives were held at the Pennsylvania Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and as a result, a majority of the photographs in this book have neither been published nor exhibited before.

When Erwitt began to photograph Pittsburgh, it was heavily associated with the Steel Industry and was very much a city in flux. During World War II, demand for steel resulted in mills operating 24 hours a day for the war effort, resulting in the highest levels of air pollution known by the city. Erwitt captured the dirt and the grit of the old city, the new buildings of the city’s rebirth, and most importantly, the individuality of the residents of Pittsburgh, creating a unique document of the city.
PublisherGost Books
ContributorsVaughn Wallace
Article IDart-20505


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