The celebrated Eve Arnold, photographer of both the stars, and the common-man, passed away last week. She was close to 100, and her long career spanned half her life. The first woman to join Magnum, Arnold accomplished many feats during her career, which we can only attempt to highlight in this article.
While on the medical track a boyfriend of Eve Arnold bestowed her with the fateful Rolleicord in 1946. She fell in love and soon began photographing life in New York City, Harlem in particular. Though arriving late in the game (she was in her mid-30s) her work was good and, as such, recognized.
Some of the most intimate and noteworthy photos are of Arnold’s friend and main photographic subject, Marilyn Monroe. Their two-pronged relationship began with Eve’s shooting of the film, The Misfits, which is a Western written by Monroe’s then husband Arthur Miller.
Besides the great Marilyn Monroe, Arnold photographed Malcom X (and the whole Black Power movement, at a time when no other photographer paid it particular attention), Andy Warhol, Terence Stamp, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlene Dietrich.
Her interest and draw to the common-man, and the down-and-out, stems from her early life. As the daughter of Russian immigrant parents to the United States, growing up with a large family, she was very conscious of her roots and in her perception of ‘the other’. Her photos, as seen above, show this empathy and were recognized by the world of photography, particularly “humanitarian” photography, of which Frank Capra and Henri Cartier-Bresson were proponents, which ultimately gained her a full-time position at the photography agency Magnum in the late 50s.
You can read more about her life in this article, in The Guardian.