University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Enrico Ferorelli Photographic Archive, ca. 1940s-2013

Title: Enrico Ferorelli photographic archive
Dates: circa 1940s-2013
Identification: camh-arc-004131
Extent: 210 linear feet
Language: English
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Biographical / Historical

Enrico Ferorelli was a photographer and photojournalist. During his long career he was a major contributor of photographs to publications like Life, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Geo, The London Times Magazine, Newsweek, Time, Fortune, Forbes, Vanity Fair, Town and Country, Money, People, Discover, Travel and Leisure, Travel Holiday, and many others.

Enrico Ferorelli was born in Lubania on August 29, 1941, and studied at the University of Rome (1960-1963) and the University of Naples (1963-1965), earning a law degree from the University of Naples in 1965. He moved to New York City in 1971. During his time as a freelance photographer, circa 1968-1995, he traveled on assignment to myriad locations, including Cameroon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Sweden, England, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Rumania, Iceland, and Hungary.

In 1986, Ferorelli was one of fifteen photographers selected worldwide by the Chinese to retrace the steps of the Long March on the fiftieth anniversary for a commemorative book. One year later he documented the Iran-Contra hearings, and then in 1988 was a guest of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and photographed the private world of the King. He additionally documented the restoration of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican that year. From 1990 to 1991, Ferorelli photographed for National Geographic the research expeditions in the rainforest of Guatemala that have helped explain the end of the Mayan civilization. Other standout photographic ventures of Ferorelli's include traveling to Chile in 1994 to document the Chinchorro civilization for National Geographic, and photographing the Suya indians in the Mato Grosso region of Brazil during an expedition with Anthony Seeger of the Smithsonian Institution. This work showed the destruction of the rainforest and the dramatic danger of extinction of this tribe, which at the time had been reduced to 180 people.

Enrico Ferorelli also had contracts doing photography for the business realm. In 1996 he produced a complete documentation of the operations of Pfizer in Japan, working for a month and a half all over the country. He also documented the Pfizer pharmaceutical operations in Brazil, Holland and the UK. One year later he created more than 40 images that are the only artwork to be permanently displayed at the headquarters of the Dover Corporation in New York.

In 1998 Ferorelli worked for five months in the Catskills to contribute to a book on American Fly Fishing. In 2001, on assignment for Smithsonian magazine in Italy, he photographed the historical car race "Mille Miglia" (1000 Miles). That same year he also traveled to Iceland to do a photographic story for National Geographic, in efforts to stop the building of an immense dam, and photographed in New York during and after September 11. In 2002 he started work on a book on the "Hidden Treasures of Central Park", a collection of images reflected upon by New York writers and poets. He traveled to Dubrovnik to document the beauty of the reconstructed jewel of the Adriatic, and spent a month in Morocco documenting the destruction of the cedar forests of the Atlas Mountains and the extermination of the Barbary Apes (Macaca sylvanus). The Morocco story was for worldwide distribution.

Enrico Ferorelli has been recognized professionally numerous times over the course of his career, including earning a Society of Publication Designers Certificate of Merit in 1974, 1975, 1979, and 1981; earning the Gold Medal of the World Press Photo in 1982 and 1983; serving as faculty of the Eddie Adams Workshop of Picture Journalism, 1990 and 1991; and winning the Barron's Award for Best Annual Report, Large Company, for Pfizer, in 2002. He was a member of the American Society of Media Photographers from 1976 until his death, serving on the Board of the ASMP from 1990 to 1994. He died in October 2014.

Scope and Contents

The Enrico Ferorelli photographic archive contains slides, photographs and prints, notes and illustrations, books and magazines, film transparencies, and manuscript material providing context and information regarding Ferorelli's career and creations. There is both an alphabetical subject index and an index by set number to the photographic shoots found in the collection. The collection is estimated to contain 750,000 images.

Along with photographic materials for individual shoots, Ferorelli also maintained originals and copies of personal and professional correspondence, shoot information and planning materials, drafts of articles, printed material, tearsheets, newspaper clippings, and other research materials that assisted with background information on the shoots' subjects. He often took Polaroids during shoots, sometimes captioning or notating them himself to remember multiple shoot subjects, and these, along with notes, notebooks, and captions, can be found within the archive. The collection additionally contains invoices, work orders, delivery memos, and other documentation of transactions pertaining to Ferorelli's many photographic ventures.

Though the bulk of the collection was pre-organized by set numbers, there were miscellaneous outliers of materials, and these have been listed in their own series. Within this series, personal materials including slides from Enrico's 40th birthday party can be found, along with scrapbooks of published articles featuring Ferorelli's creations, and oversize prints and posters. A more recent accession of materials in this series includes work from Ferorelli's early days in the 1960s and 1970s in Italy, along with personal materials such as musical, athletic, and military programs and printed material from the 1940s and 1950s.

Another series of the archive contains the manuscript material that accompanied the photographic set materials and documents other ventures in Ferorelli's career. Within this series, indexes and guides to the set categories and shoots can be found, along with Ferorelli's notes on his policies, correspondence with some clients regarding payment, and photographs taken of Ferorelli at work. Yearly agendas, day books, planners, and appointment books kept by Ferorelli are also present in this series, along with some of the merit certificates Ferorelli earned throughout his career. A delivery memo log book spanning the years of 1990 to 2006 can also be found.

The archive concludes with Ferorelli's collection of published materials, primarily magazines and books. Most if not all of these feature his work, and some include notes and letters to him from the publishers, authors, or editors.


Conditions Governing Access

A portion of this collection is stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use. The donor retains copyright on all materials by the creator. Written permission must be obtained from copyright holder in order to photocopy or publish from the collection.

Index Terms


Detailed Description of the Collection

Inventory (click to view PDF)