BORN July 27, 1939, Memphis, Tennessee
RESIDES Memphis, Tennessee
EDUCATION Attended Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN; Delta State
College, Cleveland, MS; University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS
1957 Acquires his first camera, a Canon rangefinder.
1958 Acquires his first Leica.
1959 Sees Henri Cartier-Bresson’s The Decisive Moment and Walker Evans’s
1965 Begins to experiment with color negative film.
1967 Starts to use color transparency film. Goes to New York and meets Garry
Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and Diane Arbus. Presents his work to John
Szarkowski at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
1972 Has his first dye transfer printed, Untitled, (Greenwood Moose Lodge)
1974 Harry Lunn publishes the first portfolio of dye-transfer photographs, "14
Pictures." Receives a Guggenheim Fellowship. Appointed Lecturer in
Visual and Environmental Studies at The Carpenter Center, Harvard
University. Completes his Los Alamos project.
1975 Receives a National Endowment for the Arts Photographer’s Fellowship.
1976 The Museum of Modern Art exhibits work in first solo exhibition of color
photographs, accompanied by a monograph, "William Eggleston's Guide."
Commissioned by Rolling Stone to photograph Plains, Georgia before the
election of President Jimmy Carter. This work becomes "Election Eve,"
the first artist's book of original photographs published by Caldecot
1978 Appointed Researcher in Color Video at Massachusetts Institute of
Technology at the invitation of Richard Leacock. Photographs the Gulf
states on a commission from A.T. & T. Receives another award from the
National Endowment for the Arts. Visits Jamaica.
1979 Chubb published three smaller volumes of original photographs mounted
and bound, "Morals of Vision," "Wedgwood Blue," and "Flowers."
1980 Travels to Kenya with Chubb and creates a body of work known as "The
Streets Are Clean on Jupiter." Commissioned to produce the "Louisiana
Project" and to photograph throughout the state.
1982 Invited to photograph the set of John Huston’s film Annie.
1983 Begins to photograph in Berlin, Salzburg and Graz and titles the series
Kiss me Kracow. Commissioned to photograph the mansion of Elvis
1986 Invited by director David Byrne to visit and photograph the making of his
film True Stories. Commissioned by the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
to photograph in Egypt.
1988 Begins a series of color photographs of England he calls English Rose.
1989 Photographs in the orange groves of the Transvaal. Accepts one of “54
Master Photographers of 1960-1979” awards from Photographic Society
of Japan. Plays the role of musician Jerry Lee Lewis’ father in the movie
Great Balls of Fire.
1992 Travels to China, mainly photographing in Beijing.
1993 Commissioned by Delta Pine and Land to photograph Scott, Mississippi.
1996 Commissioned by Coca-Cola to photograph their plants in four cities in
the U.S. Invited by producer Caldecot Chubb to visit and photograph the
making of the film Eve’s Bayou. Receives the University of Memphis
Distinguished Achievement Award.
1998 First dealer and longtime friend, Harry Lunn dies.
1999 Invited by director Gus Van Sant to visit and photograph the making of the
film Easter. Invited by the J. Paul Getty Museum to photograph the
museum and its grounds. Also photographs religious locations in Orange
2000 Commissioned by the Cartier Foundation to photograph the American
desert. Commissioned by Paramount Pictures to photograph studio lot in
2001 Travels to Japan and photographs Kyoto. Agrees to work with filmmakers
Vincent Gerard and Cedric Laty to produce a documentary film entitled
Eggleston Suite, later titled By The Ways (A Journey With William
2002 Travels extensively and photographs locations including Pasadena,
California; the New Jersey Shore; Queens, New York; St. Petersburg,
Russia; and Tuscany, Italy.
2003 Travels to and photographs the Niagara Falls area. Travels to Arles,
France to attend Rencontres d’Arles and meets Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Accepts Gold Medal for Photography from National Arts Club, New York.
2004 Receives the Getty Images Lifetime Achievement Award at the
International Center of Photography (ICP). Travels to Hawaii and
photographs with new Hasselblad panoramic format camera. Travels to
Madrid to accept 2004 Photoespana Award. Travels to Clovis, New
Mexico and photographs the city and Norman Petty Recording Studios.
Stranded In Canton, a video shot by Eggleston in the early seventies is
screened in London.
2005 William Eggleston In The Real World, a documentary film on Eggleston by
Michael Almereyda is completed. Travels to Xilitla, Mexico to photograph
Las Pozas. Longtime advisor and friend, Walter Hopps dies. Invited and
travels to Tokyo to be guest judge at Canon’s New Cosmos Photography