Collection of Photographs Attributed to Eli Reed.
(n. p.): Circa 1980. 63 b/w photographs, most 8" x 10", one 5" x 8". Stamped on verso of first photograph is Eli Reed's stamped name and an East Orange, New Jersey address, unevenly inked and missing most of the "Eli", with the same written in pencil below that. Light rippling to first photo; occasional slight edgewear or marginal soiling. Very Good.
A stunning collection of photographs discovered together at an estate sale in Berkeley, CA, which we believe to be by the same photographer and one of which bears Eli Reed's name. Originally from Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Reed is an African American photojournalist whose work has won numerous awards, including the Lucie Foundation Award for Documentary Photography, the Nieman Fellowship, and the Kodak World Image Award, as well as being nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1981. He was also the first full-time African American photographer on the staff of Magnum, with whom he has worked since 1983, and has lectured and taught extensively; he is currently teaching at the University of Texas at Austin.
Known primarily for his work on black life in America, Reed has spent a lifetime photographing people and situations around the world, including Beirut and Central America. The photographs in this collection are primarily portraits of a variety of Americans at work and at play, possibly taken in Detroit, along with a handful of more event-based photojournalistic shots of sports games, a fire crew at work, hospital and EMT workers, etc.
The portraits are intimate and generous, capturing a middle-aged hotdog restaurant worker's pride as he puts on his uniform hat, the hurried but welcoming smile of a black politician shaking hands with supporters, the glee of a couple in cowboy hats digging into a huge repast, the anger of a group of striking workers, the intense focus of a black dj holding her young baby while listening, and much, much more. Each photo is striking; taken collectively, they are a portrait of American itself, and show a master photographer at work.