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The Magnum Lady

February 27, 2013

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She initially intended to study medicine, but a boyfriend gave her camera that changed her life forever. Eve Arnold’s talent catapulted her into the world of photography and she soon became the first woman to join renowned Magnum agency. Her extensive career is seemingly diverse, but human vulnerability always finds the way out.

While working for American magazines, Eve made photos of many post-war era celebrities from Joan Crawford to Malcom X and Senator McCarthy, but she is today most known for her intimate portraits of Marilyn Monroe. Both were just at the beginning of their careers when they met. Monroe, who had seen some of Eve Arnold’s photographs of Marlene Dietrich, said: “If you could do that well with Marlene, can you imagine what you can do with me?” Their relationship developed into a friendship, which over the course of ten years give insight to Marilyn’s career and personality.

Eve Arnold’s subjects went far beyond the boundary of celebrities. Above all, she was the photographer of people, or as she put it, “trying to record the essence of a subject in the 125th part of a second”. Preserving images of migratory potato pickers and black civil rights protesters to Brides of Christ and the poverty of the developing world, was not only her job, but also her passion.

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