“If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.”
Photographer Eve Arnold, perhaps best known for her portraits of Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Misfits, passed away today in London. She was 99, and leaves behind a breathtaking and star-studded legacy.
The Philadelphia native moved to New York City and took a job in a photo-finishing plant in 1946. And thank God for that! In a mere six weeks in 1948, she honed her skills under the brilliant eye of Alexey Brodovitch (art director for Harper’s Bazaar).
Over the years, she circled the globe photographing dignitaries, first ladies, celebrities, leaders, and far away places.
In 1951, her photographs of fashion shows in Harlem caught the attention of Henri Cartier-Besson and she became the first woman admitted to the Magnum agency. Her first solo exhibition went up in 1980 at the Brooklyn Museum, and later that year she won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Media Photographers. Her resume quickly filled with awards and honors thereafter, and she received an OBE in 2003.
When her health failed and she could no longer hold a camera, she turned to Dostoevsky, Thomas Mann and Tolstoy. A lady, and a scholar. Here’s to you, Eve Arnold.