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Eve Arnold HonFRPS (1912-2012)
- Published 6th January 2012
The legendary photo-journalist Eve Arnold HonFRPS passed away on 4 January 2012, aged 99 years. The American born Arnold had lived in the United Kingdom since the 1960s and had been recognised with an OBE in 2003 and an Honorary Fellowship of The Society in 1993.
Her agency, Magnum Photos, noted in a tribute and summary of her careeer that Arnold was a prominent member of the agency and the first woman photographer to join in 1957.
Eve Arnold began her photography career whilst working at the Stanbi Photos plant in New Jersey in 1946, and in 1948 studied photography with Alexei Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research in New York. She moved to London in 1962 where she continued to live and work until her death in a nursing home.
Arnold will perhaps be best remembered for her exceptional photographs of people; the famous, politicians, musicians, artists and the unknown. Her intimate, sensitive and compassionate ten year collaboration with Marilyn Monroe cemented her as one of the most iconic portrait photographers of our time, but it was the long term reportage stories that drove Arnold’s curiosity and passion.
Her first photo story documented African-American fashion shows in Harlem, New York in the 1950s and was the work that would gain the attention of Henri Cartier-Bresson and her inauguration into Magnum Photos. In 1969 Arnold was to spend an important period of her life documenting the ruling family and life in the Arab States, which was to be published in 1971 under the title Behind The Veil. During the late 1970s she completed a landmark project in China, becoming one of the first westerners to be granted a rare visa after America and China established diplomatic relations.
Arnold was the publisher of over 15 monographs, including a new publication All About Eve (TeNeues, January 2012). Of note is her 1997 book In Retrospect (Alfred A. Knopf) in which she recounts her life and career in her own words. In her later years she was exhibited widely, mostly notably her Retrospective, originated by the Barbican, London in 1996 which received 62,000 visitors and toured internationally. In 1997, she was appointed a member of the Advisory Committee of the Museum of Photography, Film & Television, now the National Media Museum in Bradford.
She was a regular editorial contributor to global newspapers and magazines, in particular The Sunday Times where she was given unparalleled freedom in her projects.
Even Arnold leaves an important photographic legacy that stands as a testament to her skill as a photographer and someone that could make a portrait that said more about the subject than those taken by many of her male contemporaries.
The Guardian newspaper carries a full obiturary and report with pictures and a quote from The Society here: here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/jan/05/photographer-eve-arnold-dies