Elliott Erwitt: Pittsburgh 1950 at International Center of Photography (ICP), May 23 – September 2, 2018

“In 1950 Elliott Erwitt, then just twenty-two years old, set out to capture Pittsburgh’s transformation from an industrial city into a modern metropolis. Commissioned by Roy Stryker, the mastermind behind the large-scale documentary photography projects launched by the US government during the Great Depression, Erwitt shot hundreds of frames. His images recorded the city’s communities against the backdrop of urban change, highlighting his quiet observations with the playful wit that has defined his style for over five decades. After only four months, Erwitt was drafted into the army and sent to Germany, leaving his negatives behind in Stryker’s Pittsburgh Photographic Library. The negatives remained at the Pennsylvania Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for decades until Vaughn Wallace, now a senior photo editor at National Geographic, rediscovered the archive. Elliott Erwitt: Pittsburgh 1950 was organized by Assistant Curator Claartje van Dijk in collaboration with the photographer. The exhibition was made possible with the support of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.” — ICP

Elliott Erwitt, Children on Beelen Street, Pittsburgh, PA, October 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Elliott Erwitt, Fifth Avenue Downtown, Pittsburgh, PA, 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Elliott Erwitt, Salvation Army Singers, Pittsburgh, PA , 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Elliott Erwitt, Downtown Hat Shop Window, Pittsburgh, PA, September 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Elliott Erwitt, Duquesne Incline, Pittsburgh, PA, 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Elliott Erwitt, Beelen Street Overlooking Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Elliott Erwitt, The View Looking toward Downtown Pittsburgh from Oakland, Pittsburgh, PA, 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Elliott Erwitt, Schenley Park at Night, Pittsburgh, PA, 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Elliott Erwitt, Snow Scene in Mt. Washington District during “The Big Snow,” Pittsburgh, PA, December 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Elliott Erwitt, Crowd at Armistice Day Parade, Pittsburgh, PA, November 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Elliott Erwitt, Fifth Avenue Downtown, Pittsburgh, PA, December 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Elliott Erwitt, Poultry Shop on Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, September 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Elliott Erwitt, Section near Penn Incline, Pittsburgh, PA, 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Elliott Erwitt, Section around Tenth Street Bridge across Monongahela River, Pittsburgh, PA, 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Elliott Erwitt, One of Pittsburgh’s Myriad Bridges That Give It the Nickname “The City of Bridges,” Pittsburgh, PA, 1950. © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos, Courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Images courtesy International Center of Photography.

Title photo by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.