Six Decades of Elliott Erwitt’s Iconic New York Street Photography

Magnum photographers in New York City in the late 1980s

Magnum photographers. New York City, USA, 1989
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, My Modern Met may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.

French-American photographer Elliott Erwitt is known for his whimsical images of life in New York City. Now, some of his best work featuring the city has been pulled together in a revised edition of Elliott Erwitt's New York. The publication is a fitting tribute to the photographer, who died on November, 2023 at age 95.

From the moment he landed in New York in 1948, his camera was his constant companion. And his black-and-white photography showcases the beauty he found in everyday life. From people passing the time while waiting for the subway to portraits of iconic celebrities, he never missed an opportunity to create a work of art with his camera.

In this revised edition of the book, which was originally published in 2008, there are 16 pages of previously unpublished photographs from the 1950s and 1960s. This makes the coffee table book a precious resource for lovers of Erwitt's street photography. While there are plenty of incredible images from the past, the book explores the full timeline of Erwitt's career.

There are many clever and ironic photographs from more recent times, including a crowd of Magnum photographers in the late 1980s. In it, we see the professionals jockeying for the best view high up on a roof. Rather than get involved in the war for a vantage point, Erwitt was able to step back and see the amusement in the chaos.

Elliott Erwitt's New York, published by teNeues, is now available via Amazon or Bookshop. The German publisher worked closely with Erwitt and has published many volumes of his work, including one that brings together his hilarious dog photographs.

A new coffee table book celebrates Elliott Erwitt's iconic New York City street photography.

Ballerina leaping on the roof in NYC by Elliott Erwitt

New York City, USA, 1949.

Elliott Erwitt's New York

New York City, USA, 2001.

Girl posing next to Egyptian statues at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Elliott Erwitt

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York City, USA, 1988.

His black-and-white photography celebrates the beauty of everyday life.

1950s New York by Elliott Erwitt

New York City, USA, 1950.

Man sitting on a bench with a yoyo waiting for the subway in New York in 1949

New York City, USA, 1949.

Ferry in New York in 1954 by Elliott Erwitt

New York City, USA, 1954.

This revised edition of Elliott Erwitt's New York includes 16 pages of previously unpublished photos from the 1950s and 1960s.

Elliott Erwitt's New York

New York City, USA, 1953.

Elliott Erwitt Portrait of Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe. New York City, USA, 1956.

Elliott Erwitt's New York

New York City, USA, 1953.

This volume, which is a wonderful celebration of the photographer's career, is now on sale.

Cover of Elliott Erwitt's New York

Elliott Erwitt: Website | Instagram

All images © Elliott Erwitt. My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by teNeues.

Related Articles:

50 Years of Meryl Meisler’s Iconic New York Nightlife Photography on Display

97-Year-Old Pioneer of Street Photography Captures New York Since the 1940’s

Vivian Maier’s Street Photography Coming to New York for Comprehensive Exhibition

Photographer Spent Eight Years Capturing Life on the Gritty New York Subway in the 1970s and 1980s

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.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content