Leica Honors Legendary Photographer Elliott Erwitt With Its Hall of Fame Award

Elliott Erwitt, 2023 Leica Photo of the Year

Elliott Erwitt, New York City, USA 2000 (Photo: © Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS, Leica Hall of Fame Award 2023, Leica Gallery Wetzlar 2023)

Legendary Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt is being honored with the Leica Hall of Fame Award 2023. To celebrate, Erwitt has selected 50 of his iconic images for an exhibition on view at the Leica Gallery in Wetzlar through the end of January 2024. In addition, one of his images, which cleverly shows someone sitting on a stoop in New York with their bulldogs, has also been selected as the Leica Picture of the Year. 

With a portfolio that spans seven decades, the 95-year-old photographer is known for his black-and-white candid photos that are tinged with humor. Whether he's photographing Marilyn Monroe in New York or complete strangers in Paris, Erwitt always captures a moment of emotional impact.

“You can find pictures anywhere. It’s simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what’s around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy,” he shares.

“You only need the humble ability to bring order into a motif, to compose a picture, or to recognize and reflect a certain mood. From time to time, you might produce an image that says something. That’s already enough. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt when you happen to be in the right place at the right time.”

Erwitt got his start as a professional photographer in 1948 in New York City. His big break came in 1953 when he was invited to become part of the Magnum Agency by co-founder Robert Capa. Since then, he's divided his time between photographing politicians and celebrities, as well as commercial assignments and his own personal street photography.

As part of the celebration of Erwitt's career, Leica is offering a limited edition of the Picture of the Year. Taken by Erwitt while on a stroll in New York, the photo of a dog owner in symbiosis with his animals is the culmination of everything that makes his work great. Starting on October 30, the limited print, part of an edition of 80, will be available at all 27 Leica Galleries globally.

Iconic photographer Elliott Erwitt is being honored with the Leica Hall of Fame Award 2023.

Photographer Elliott Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt, New York City, USA 1999 (Photo: © Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS, Leica Hall of Fame Award 2023, Leica Gallery Wetzlar 2023)

Erwitt's illustrious career spans seven decades.

Man Jumping in front of the Eiffel Tower by Elliott Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt, Eiffel Tower 100th anniversary, Paris, France 1989 (Photo: © Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS, Leica Hall of Fame Award 2023, Leica Gallery Wetzlar 2023)

Marilyn Monroe by Elliott Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt, Marilyn Monroe, New York City, USA 1956 (Photo: © Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS, Leica Hall of Fame Award 2023, Leica Gallery Wetzlar 2023)

To celebrate, the Leica Gallery in Wetzlar is holding an exhibition of his work.

Elliott Erwitt Leica Hall of Fame Awards 2023

Elliott Erwitt, California, USA 1955 (Photo: © Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS, Leica Hall of Fame Award 2023, Leica Gallery Wetzlar 2023)

Elliott Erwitt New York Photography

Elliott Erwitt, New York City, USA 1946 (Photo © Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS, Leica Hall of Fame Award 2023, Leica Gallery Wetzlar 2023)

New York Photography by Elliott Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt, New York City, USA 1955 (Photo: © Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS, Leica Hall of Fame Award 2023, Leica Gallery Wetzlar 2023)

One of his images featuring an owner with their bulldogs is available in a limited run at all Leica Galleries around the world.

People standing in front of a painting at the Prado Museum by Elliott Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt, Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain 1995 (Photo: © Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS, Leica Hall of Fame Award 2023, Leica Gallery Wetzlar 2023)

New York Street Photography by Elliott Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt, Felix, Gladys, Rover, New York City, USA 1974 (Photo: © Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS, Leica Hall of Fame Award 2023, Leica Gallery Wetzlar 2023)

Coney Island by Elliott Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt, New York State, USA 1975 (Photo: © Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS, Leica Hall of Fame Award 2023, Leica Gallery Wetzlar 2023)

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Leica.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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