Eggleston, William

Eggleston, William (William Joseph Eggleston, Jr.), 1939–, American photographer credited with establishing color photography as an art form, b. Memphis Tenn. His early work in black and white was influenced by Walker Evans and Henri Cartier-Bresson . In the mid-1960s he began experimenting with color and in the 1970s started using dye-transfer printing. Eggleston's geometrically complex compositions often employ unusual perspectives, and his realistic portrayal of everyday objects, particularly those of the rural American South, was at first considered to be lacking in artistry. He created a sensation, however, with his first major solo exhibition, which opened (1976) at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, and later traveled to several other museums. Also in 1976, he was commissioned by Rolling Stone magazine to do a series of photographs in presidential candidate Jimmy Carter's hometown, Plains, Ga. His publications include Troubled Waters (1980), The Democratic Forest (1989), and Los Alamos (2003).

See William Eggleston in the Real World (documentary, 2005) and By the Ways: A Journey with William Eggleston (documentary, 2007).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Photography: Biographies