NPR logo

William Eggleston, In Full Color

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/106299805/106318497" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
William Eggleston, In Full Color

Arts & Life

William Eggleston, In Full Color

William Eggleston, In Full Color

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/106299805/106318497" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In 1976, William Eggleston broke the "color barrier" in art photography when he presented his full-color prints at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Previously, art photography had been strictly a black-and-white enterprise, with color reserved for catalogs and commercial advertisements. Famed photographers like Walker Evans even called color photography "vulgar," and one bitter critic named Eggleston's exhibit "the most hated show of the year." But the photographer didn't care what the critics had to say — and in fact, he still doesn't.

(See a gallery of Eggleston's work or read an interview with the photographer on NPR's blog The Picture Show.)