Joel Meyerowitz A Question of Color

Joel Meyerowitz, Robert Shore

Joel Meyerowitz: A Question of Color traces the experiments in color and black-and-white photography of the young Meyerowitz, a pioneer in the history of color photography.

An early advocate of color photography, Joel Meyerowitz has impacted and influenced generations of artists. For fifty-eight years, the master photographer has documented the United States’ ever-changing social landscape.

During the late 1960s, Meyerowitz carried two cameras: one loaded with monochrome stock, the other with color. Just how, when, and why American fine art photographers switched from black-and-white image-making, prized within the gallery system, to color photography, once seen as the preserve of tourist photography, has been the cause of much debate.

In Joel Meyerowitz: A Question of Color, Meyerowitz tells the story of his early days as a photographer when he was told that serious photographers took black-and-white pictures. "But why," he asked, "when the world is in color?" He then bought a color camera and various rolls of film and began to experiment with color techniques: a passion he continues to pursue.


Vibrant… Meyerowitz's insights are abundantly clear in arresting shots [paired with] commentary that reveals the depth of his artistic philosophy… This captivates.

— Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Joel Meyerowitz


Born in New York in 1938, Joel Meyerowitz is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in over 350 exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world. He began photographing in color in 1962 and was an early advocate during a time when there was significant resistance to the idea of color photography as serious art. In 2017, Meyerowitz was honored for his lifelong work with a place in the Leica Hall of Fame, described as a “magician using color” and praised for his ability to “both capture and fram[e] the decisive moment.”

Robert Shore

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Robert Shore is the author of several books about contemporary art and photography, including Beg, Steal and Borrow: Artists Against Originality, Andy Warhol, and Yayoi Kusama. He worked for many years as an arts reviewer and as the editor of Elephant magazine.