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William Eggleston

Born in: 1939

United States

Famous artist

William Eggleston was born in July 27, 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee He attended the Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, the Delta State College, Cleveland, MS and the University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS.


1957 - Acquires his first camera, a Canon rangefinder.
1958 - Acquires his first Leica.
1959 - Sees Henri Cartier-Bresson’s The Decisive Moment and Walker Evans’s American Photographs.
1965 - Begins to experiment with color negative film.
1967 - Starts to use color transparency film. Goes to New York and meets Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and Diane Arbus. Presents his work to John Szarkowski at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
1972 - Has his first dye transfer printed, Untitled, (Greenwood Moose Lodge)
1974 - Harry Lunn publishes the first portfolio of dye-transfer photographs, "14 Pictures." Receives a Guggenheim Fellowship. Appointed Lecturer in Visual and Environmental Studies at The Carpenter Center, Harvard University. Completes his Los Alamos project.
1975 - Receives a National Endowment for the Arts Photographer’s Fellowship.
1976 - The Museum of Modern Art exhibits work in first solo exhibition of color photographs, accompanied by a monograph, "William Eggleston's Guide." Commissioned by Rolling Stone to photograph Plains, Georgia before the election of President Jimmy Carter. This work becomes "Election Eve," the first artist's book of original photographs published by Caldecot Chubb.
1978 - Appointed Researcher in Color Video at Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the invitation of Richard Leacock. Photographs the Gulf states on a commission from A.T. & T. Receives another award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Visits Jamaica.
1979 - Chubb published three smaller volumes of original photographs mounted and bound, "Morals of Vision," "Wedgwood Blue," and "Flowers."
1980 - Travels to Kenya with Chubb and creates a body of work known as "The Streets Are Clean on Jupiter." Commissioned to produce the "Louisiana Project" and to photograph throughout the state.
1982 - Invited to photograph the set of John Huston’s film Annie.
1983 - Begins to photograph in Berlin, Salzburg and Graz and titles the series Kiss me Kracow. Commissioned to photograph the mansion of Elvis Presley, Graceland.
1986 - Invited by director David Byrne to visit and photograph the making of his film True Stories. Commissioned by the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art to photograph in Egypt.
1988 - Begins a series of color photographs of England he calls English Rose.
1989 - Photographs in the orange groves of the Transvaal. Accepts one of “54 Master Photographers of 1960-1979” awards from Photographic Society of Japan. Plays the role of musician Jerry Lee Lewis’ father in the movie Great Balls of Fire.
1992 - Travels to China, mainly photographing in Beijing.
1993 - Commissioned by Delta Pine and Land to photograph Scott, Mississippi.
1996 - Commissioned by Coca-Cola to photograph their plants in four cities in the U.S. Invited by producer Caldecot Chubb to visit and photograph the making of the film Eve’s Bayou. Receives the University of Memphis Distinguished Achievement Award.
1998 - First dealer and longtime friend, Harry Lunn dies.
1999 - Invited by director Gus Van Sant to visit and photograph the making of the film Easter. Invited by the J. Paul Getty Museum to photograph the museum and its grounds. Also photographs religious locations in Orange County, California.
2000 - Commissioned by the Cartier Foundation to photograph the American desert. Commissioned by Paramount Pictures to photograph studio lot in Hollywood, California.
2001 - Travels to Japan and photographs Kyoto. Agrees to work with filmmakers Vincent Gerard and Cedric Laty to produce a documentary film entitled Eggleston Suite, later titled By The Ways (A Journey With William Eggleston).
2002 - Travels extensively and photographs locations including Pasadena, California; the New Jersey Shore; Queens, New York; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Tuscany, Italy.
2003 - Travels to and photographs the Niagara Falls area. Travels to Arles, France to attend Rencontres d’Arles and meets Henri Cartier-Bresson. Accepts Gold Medal for Photography from National Arts Club, New York.
2004 - Receives the Getty Images Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Center of Photography (ICP). Travels to Hawaii and photographs with new Hasselblad panoramic format camera. Travels to Madrid to accept 2004 Photoespana Award. Travels to Clovis, New Mexico and photographs the city and Norman Petty Recording Studios. Stranded In Canton, a video shot by Eggleston in the early seventies is screened in London.
2005 - William Eggleston In The Real World, a documentary film on Eggleston by Michael Almereyda is completed. Travels to Xilitla, Mexico to photograph Las Pozas. Longtime advisor and friend, Walter Hopps dies. Invited and travels to Tokyo to be guest judge at Canon’s New Cosmos Photography Contest.
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