Ted Loos takes to his Sotheby’s blog to remind us of the role MoMA played in establishing William Eggleston as a name in photography which is all taking place against the backdrop of Eggleston’s transformation from a photographer to a Contemporary artist with the push to reprint his works in large formats:
The way MoMA plays into the equation is interesting. Eggleston’s career was largely a creation of John Szarkowski (1926–2007), the photography czar at the museum, a lensman himself and the most important voice in the field for decades. Eggleston famously showed up at the museum with his portfolio—a cold call of sorts—and Szarkowski was blown away by the work. Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, and Garry Winogrand are among those Szarkowski also championed and helped turn into names, largely because MoMA was back then the only major museum to take the medium seriously as art, not just craft.
An Homage to William Eggleston at the Met (Sotheby’s)