Papers, 1930-1988 (bulk, 1942-1973).

ArchivalResource

Papers, 1930-1988 (bulk, 1942-1973).

All aspects of Eliot Elisofon's career are documented by photographs, transparencies, slides, negatives, film, research material, notes, photo captions, logbooks, correspondence, agreements and other documents, drafts, proofs, tearsheets, clippings, scrapbooks, catalogs, sketch books, and artifacts, all dating from 1930 to 1988. The archive is organized in ten series: I. Photography Files, 1933-1973, nd; II. Film and Television Projects, 1953-1973, 1986; III. Writings and Lectures, 1938-1973; IV. Artwork, 1935-1969; V. Exhibitions, 1936-1986; VI. Private Art Collection, 1939-1969, nd; VII. Food Files, 1943-1969, nd; VIII. Correspondence, 1930-1973, nd; IX. About Elisofon, 1930-1985; and X. Elin Elisofon, 1976-1988, nd. Series I forms the bulk of the collection, with most of Elisofon's photography assignments for LIFE magazine represented. Elisofon's photographs were first published in LIFE in 1937. He worked for that magazine as an official staff photographer from 1942 to 1964 and then on a contract basis until 1972. Among his subjects were celebrities, politicians, places, art, architecture, food, and a variety of social topics. In addition, Elisofon did freelance work and contributed photographs for Time-Life Books and other publications; many of those photographs, as well as photographs taken for personal reasons, are also included in the archive. Elisofon worked as a still photographer or served in other technical capacities for numerous films, including "Bell, Book and Candle," "Dr. Dolittle," "The Greatest Story Ever Told," "Khartoum," and "Moulin Rouge." He also photographed the filming of "The African Queen." Elisofon was involved in the production of the television documentary series "Black African Heritage" and "Africa." These and other projects are all represented. Drafts of Elisofon's books include those for "Food Is a Four-Letter Word," "Color Photography," "The Nile," "Java Diary," and "Erotic Spirituality." Materials from his frequent lectures and from exhibitions of his photographs, watercolors, and collection of art and sculpture are also present. Elisofon served as a founding trustee of the Museum of African Art, and the collection includes records of his donations and bequests to that museum and others. Recipes and menus gathered by Elisofon comprise Series VII, Food Files. Among noteworthy correspondents in the collection are editors at LIFE, including Maitland Edey, Wilson Hicks, and Edward Thompson; Joseph Campbell, for whose book "The Art of Indian Asia" Elisofon provided photographs; Warren Robbins of the Museuem of African Art; and Lee Talbot of the Smithsonian. Elisofon's daughter Elin's files on her father's work and life make up the final series.

144 boxes (60.5 linear feet), 2 scrapbooks boxes, 2 oversized boxes, 3 glass slide boxes.

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