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Alfred Wertheimer media collection

 Collection
Identifier: MG.011

Scope and Contents

The Alfred Wertheimer media collection presents a large and well-rounded portrait of the artist's career in film. After graduation from The Cooper Union in 1951, Wertheimer made his name as one of the first photographers of Elvis, and later went on to become a prolific cinematographer. This collection consists of 304 boxes containing primarily film reels, as well as audio reels and video tape. Highlights in chronological order include footage of Elvis interviews (1958 and 1961), JFK + Nixon campaigns (1960), Bolivia in the aftermath of Che Guevara's death and the trial of RĂ©gis Debray (1967), the Mexico City Olympics (1968), Woodstock (1970), Vietnam war protests in Washington, D.C. (1971), NOW co-founder Muriel Fox (undated), plus the documentary "Letters from Vietnam," which presented the first synchronous sound helicopter combat footage ever shot.

Dates

  • Majority of material found within 1960 - 1971

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction. This collection is stored off-site, so please email archives@cooper.edu before your visit in order to obtain an index to the collection and request materials.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from The Cooper Union Archives and Special Collections. For more information please email archives@cooper.edu.

Biographical / Historical

Alfred Wertheimer (1929-2014) was a photographer, cinematographer and film editor. Born in Germany, Wertheimer and his family moved to New York in 1936 to escape Nazi persecution. After attending Haaren High School in Manhattan, Wertheimer graduated from The Cooper Union art program in 1951. He enlisted after graduation and served as an Army photographer until returning to New York in 1954. As a photojournalist he worked for fashion photographer Tom Palumbo and RCA Victor Records, who commissioned him to shoot some of the earliest photos of Elvis Presley. As cinematographer he worked on The Making of the President (1963), Woodstock (1970), and many other full-length and short films.

Wertheimer's work continues to be shown in solo exhibitions by respected institutions, including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC; Akron Museum of Art, Ohio; Allentown Art Museum, Pennsylvania; The Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles; Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Tennessee; Tucson Museum of Art, Arizona; Worcester Ari Museum, Massachusetts. Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina; Experience Music Project, Seattle; The Grammy Museum, Los Angeles; Australian National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; Folkwang Museum, Germany; Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow; and Mondo Galeria, Madrid.

Extent

304 Linear Feet (304 cartons )

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The Alfred Wertheimer media collection presents a large and well-rounded portrait of the artist's career in film. After graduation from Cooper Union in 1951, Wertheimer made his name as one of the first photographers of Elvis. He later went on to become a prolific cinematographer, and this collections contains much of his notable work, in particular his coverage of the 1960 presidential campaigns of Kennedy and Nixon and his 1969 footage of the Woodstock Festival.

Arrangement

This collection has been arranged in the order that it was received.

Author
Mary Mann
Date
October 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the The Cooper Union Archives & Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Cooper Union Library
7 East 7th Street
New York New York 10003 United States