Elliott Erwitt NYC. 1999
Elliott Erwitt. The Jacobite Steam Train, Glenfinnan Viaduct, Lochaber, Highlands
Elliott Erwitt. The Macpherson-Grant family, Ballindalloch Castle, Ballindalloch, Moray
Elliott Erwitt. The Macallan, Easter Elchies House, Craigellachie, Moray
Elliott Erwitt. Glorious Twelfth Grouse Shoot, The Coignafearn Estate, Tomatin, Inverness, Highlands
Elliott Erwitt. Varkasaig Beach, Orbost Estate, Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides
For the fourth edition of its award-winning Masters of Photography series, The Macallan — the world’s most precious single malt whisky — has commissioned the most influential living photographer , Elliott Erwitt to capture the spirit of its heartland in his ‘Great Scottish Adventure’. The Masters of Photography: Elliott Erwitt Edition sees Erwitt interpret the unique richness and depth of Scottish character through his shrewd observational skill and subtle humorous style.
The Masters of Photography: Elliott Erwitt Edition is The Macallan’s most extensive, and ambitious, to date with 58 unique single cask whiskies being paired with a different signed 11″ x 14″ Elliott Erwitt print captured during his Scottish adventure. Only 35 of each of the exclusive pairings are available, making a complete global release of 2,030. The Elliott Erwitt Edition comprises a bespoke photo-archival book featuring a total of 158 images, shot by Elliott during the process, with a 35/37.5cl handmade glass flask containing a single cask malt whisky concealed within its pages.
Erwitt’s rarefied ability to instinctively visualise and capture an insightful image has resulted in some of the most iconic and powerful photographs of our time, including the incredibly poignant portrait of Jackie Kennedy at her husband’s funeral, and intimate shots of Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Misfits.
Renowned for his mastery of the ‘decisive moment’ — that creative instant when subjects appear before the camera in surprising and illuminating ways — Elliott Erwitt, has now turned his lens on Scotland. Shot against dramatically different backdrops in the Highlands and Islands, Glasgow and Edinburgh, Erwitt captures the beauty of the perfect moment. His collection showcases the traditions and eccentricities of the Scottish people, as well as, his most loved subjects — dogs.
«Photography is an art of observation — it’s about creating something extraordinary out of the ordinary. You choose a frame and then wait until the right time for something magical to come along and fill it. I realised while working on this project that this is exactly the way Bob, the Whisky Maker, works when creating The Macallan. He envisages how he wants a particular whisky to taste, selects the perfect cask to create it, and then he waits! Timing is everything,» comments Elliott Erwitt.
This collection is completely unique in terms of its scale and breadth of single cask malt Scotch whiskies, each of which has been personally selected by Whisky Maker Bob Dalgarno to interpret the essence of its corresponding photograph.
«The incredible richness and depth of character found in every Macallan whisky lends itself perfectly to this year’s Masters of Photography offering. Selecting 58 individual single cask malt whiskies to bring to life Elliott’s 58 favourite images of his Great Scottish Adventure was wonderfully challenging — tasting the image through the whisky and the whisky through the image on such an unprecedented scale was inspiring,» remarks Bob Dalgarno, Whisky Maker, The Macallan.
The Macallan Masters of Photography series features exclusive collaborations with legendary photographers. Previous editions were authored by Rankin, Albert Watson and Annie Leibovitz.
Ken Grier, Director of Malts, The Edrington Group, says: «The creative excellence showcased by Masters of Photography has become synonymous with The Macallan. Working with Elliott Erwitt, the world’s most influential living photographer has been both an honour and personal highlight. Elliott is legendary in the world of photography and is one of my all-time favourite photographers. With his signature playfulness and witty juxtapositions, we couldn’t think of anyone better to capture the quirkiness of Scottish character and heartland of The Macallan. We’re proud that Elliott is now one of our Masters of Photography. His mastery of capturing the ‘decisive moment’ parallels wonderfully with the art of whisky making, making him an obvious choice for the brand.»
The Masters of Photography: Elliott Erwitt Edition is available worldwide starting from October 2013, priced at $1,500.
Elliott Erwitt was born in Paris to Russian émigré parents on 26th July 1928. His formative years were spent in Milan. At the age of 10 his family moved back to Paris, only to immigrate to New York a year later, before transferring to Los Angeles in 1941. While attending Hollywood High School he worked in a commercial darkroom processing «signed» prints for fans of movie stars.
In 1948 by good fortune while looking for work on exploratory trips to New York City, Erwitt met Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker who liked his photographs and took a personal guiding interest becoming significant mentors. The following year he returned to Europe travelling and photographing in Italy and France thus marking the start of his professional career. Drafted in to the US Army in 1951 he continued taking photographs for various publications totally apart from his military duties while stationed in New Jersey, Germany and France.
In 1953 freshly decommissioned from military service, Erwitt was invited to join Magnum Photos as a member by its founder Capa. In 1968 he became President of the prestigious agency for three terms. To date he continues to be one of the leading figures in the competitive field of photography. His journalistic essays, illustrations, and advertisements have been featured in publications around the world for over half a century. While continuing his work as a photographer, Erwitt began making films in the ’70s. His documentaries include BEAUTY KNOWS NO PAIN (1971), RED WHITE AND BLUE GRASS (1973) and the awarded THE GLASSMAKERS OF HERAT (1979). He also produced 17 comedies and special satire programs for Home Box Office in the ’80s.
While actively working for magazine, industrial and advertising clients Erwitt devotes all his spare time toward creating books and exhibitions of his work. To date he is the author of nearly 30 photography books including: Photographs and Anti-photographs (1972), Son of Bitch (1974), To the Dogs (1992), Between the Sexes (1994), Museum Watching (1998), Snaps (2001), Elliott Erwitt’s Handbook (2002), Woof (2005), Personal Best (2006), Unseen (2007), Elliott Erwitt’s Dogs (2008), The Art of André S. Solidor (2009), Elliott Erwitt’s Paris (2010), Sequentially Yours (2011), Forthcoming: Elliott Erwitt’s Kolor.
A listing of one man shows at significant public venues include: The Museum of Modern Art in New York, International Center of Photography, The Chicago Art Institute, The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., The Museum of Modern Art in Paris (Palais de Tokyo), The Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, The Barbican in London, The Royal Photographic Society in Bath, The Museum of Art of New South Wales in Sydney, The Spazio Oberdan in Milan, various Asian venues too difficult to pronounce and many others. Private galleries scattered throughout the world display, promote and sell Erwitt’s «fine art» photographs.
Elliott Erwitt likes children and dogs.