ELIOT Porter (1901-1990)

Spruce Trees in Fog, Maine, 1954
color photograph
Gift of the Textile Arts Foundation


"Eliot Porter introduced color to landscape photography." [Carter Museum]

Born in 1901 just outside of Chicago, Porter didn't begin his career as an artist. While he had been experimenting with photography since the age of 10, Porter chose to enter medical school, and graduated with a medical degree from Harvard in 1929. In 1938, acclaimed photographer Alfred Stieglitz offered Porter a one person show at his gallery, which convinced Porter he had the talent to abandon his medical career and pursue photography as his career.

Porter was unique in that he chose to take his photos in color, shunning the more traditionalist black-and-white technique of his collegues. Soon, Porter gained acclaim as a photographer and author following the 1962 publication of his book, In Wildness Is the Preservation of the World.

Porter built his career photographing his first love, birds, and the landscapes of Maine, the Adirondacks, and the most distant locales of Mexico, Antarctica, and more.

Respond to this work