Alfred Wertheimer audiovisual collection
Scope and Contents
The Alfred Wertheimer audiovisual 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 Régis 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. Also included in this collection are audio recordings, including a few interviews with and about Elvis.
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1960 - 1971
- Wertheimer, Alfred (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Open to researchers without restriction. This collection is stored off-site, so please email email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
304 Linear Feet (304 cartons of mixed audio and visual recordings)
Language of Materials
The Alfred Wertheimer audiovisual 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.
This collection has been arranged in the order that it was received.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was donated by Michael W. Sonnenfeldt and Katja B. Goldman.
- Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 (Person)
- Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 (Person)
- Presley, Elvis, 1935-1977 (Person)
- Fox, Muriel (Person)
- Woodstock Festival (1969 : Bethel, N.Y.) (Organization)
- Olympic Games (19th : 1968 : Mexico City, Mexico) (Organization)
- National Organization for Women (Organization)
- Ali, Muhammad, 1942-2016 (Person)
- Frazier, Joe, 1944-2011 (Person)
- Mary Mann
- October 2021
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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