An early member of the prestigious cooperative picture agency, Magnum, Elliott Erwitt is a master of pictorial humor and the telling human expression. In this photograph his camera shoves us toward a raucous crowd wildly cheering Julius and Ethel Rosenberg's execution for espionage, creating a chilling record of the blind patriotic zeal of 1950s middle-class America.
Inscription: Signed in pencil on print, verso, BC: "Elliott Erwitt"; Inscribed in pencil on print, verso CR: "Rosenberg Case // Moment of Execution // Washington, D.C. [sideways]; Stamped in blue ink on print, verso C: "PLEASE CREDIT // ELLIOTT ERWITT // MAGNUM PHOTOS INC. // 15 West 47th Street // New York 19, N.Y."
From the artist to Edywnn Houk
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 32," May 14, 2002–September 8, 2003.