New York & Beyond • 1948
Atta Boy
Summer Camp • 1946
Hoop Dee Doo
New York and Beyond • 1949
Merry Go Round
Coney Island • 1951
Abstracts • 1956
Vintage photo of Martin Elkort

About the photographer


Martin Elkort (American, b. April 18, 1929 – d. November 19, 2016) was born in New York and grew up amidst the Great Depression. He took his first professional photograph at the age of 10 while on a car trip with his family in Baltimore. The Baltimore Sun purchased his photographs of submerged cars during a flood and at that point, he was hooked on photography.

At the age of 15 Martin came down with polio and spent 4 months in the hospital. When he returned home, his parents bought him his first Ciroflex, a twin-lens reflex camera, that cost them about a week’s salary at the time. After his recovery, he set out around Manhattan taking pictures of whatever interested him.

About the Work


The majority of photographs in the collection were shot circa 1945-1956. Many during this era were taken during Martin's membership in the New York Photo League. His more recent works, shot in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Texas and Mexico, continue the style of street photography that has made Martin Elkort’s photographs unique and endearing to many generations.


Children: Behind the Lens by Martin Elkort is now available for purchase. This 9 x 9 inch offset print photography book will make a wonderful addition to any photographer’s book collection as well as anyone who enjoys experiencing the world through a child’s joyful eye.


In the 1940’s and 1950’s, Martin Elkort roamed the urban landscape of New York City with his camera in search of the perfect picture. His indelible images of simpler times remind us that the human experience can be a joyous one. Poignant and insightful, his photographs reflect the Great American Melting Pot in all its unpolished glory.

Enjoy these YouTube productions with slideshows of the photographs and voiceover narratives as seen through the eyes of Martin Elkort.

"A beautiful photograph, like a beautiful poem, always contains a mystery, an elusive and haunting nucleus that makes us return again to probe its depths, hoping to winnow yet another insight. The mystery is often in plain sight but its meaning may be obscured with the passage of time."

– Martin Elkort


The Photographs

You can review the archive of photos by selecting from the following categories

Blog Posts


2nd Street and 2nd Ave Snowstorm-1948
Stefani Twyford

2nd Street and 2nd Ave Snowstorm -1948

The iconic city of New York bundled up in a blanket of snow, a reminder of a simpler time. This vintage photograph shot by Martin in 1948, takes us on a journey through the bustling streets, now quiet and still.

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Martin Elkort on Photography
Martin Elkort

Why I Take Pictures

I watch a flag whip in the wind on a metal pole. My pleasure is sensuous – the sun is shining and the morning air is clear and crisp in

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Stefani Twyford

Reflections on the 4th of July

Shoe Shine – © Martin Elkort – 1948 On the occasion of the American Bi-Centennial in 1897, Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and John T Morgan penned this reflection on

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Stefani Twyford

A Visit To Georgia O’Keefe

In 1959 Martin Elkort visited artist Georgia O’Keefe at her Ghost Ranch home and studio. Martin was living in Santa Fe at the time and working as an art editor

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Martin Elkort on Photography
Martin Elkort

Visual Recorders of Time

March 01, 2009 — A beautiful photograph, like a beautiful poem, always contains a mystery, an elusive and haunting nucleus that makes us return again to probe its depths, hoping to

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Martin Elkort on Photography
Martin Elkort

Michael Richard: Blind Ambition

In Valleyheart Drive, a sundappled street fronting a culvert in the heart of California’s San Fernando Valley, is an unassuming cottage. It is the home of photographer Michael Richard. He is blind.

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All photographs and writings on this website are owned and copyrighted by Martin Elkort and may not be used without the the expressed and written consent of Martin Elkort.