Magnum Contact Sheets Book: Symposium + Exhibition


Do excellent photographs emerge from a diligently worked sequence, or was the right shot a case of serendipity? The answers to these questions can be found in contact sheets; they tell the truth behind a photograph, unveil its process, and provide its back story.

Contact sheet snippet of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, 1963 © René Burri / MAGNUM PHOTOS via

Offering a wealth of unpublished material, Magnum Contact Sheets is a landmark publication which is there to provide the reader with a deeper understanding of the stories behind many iconic and historical images of modern times taken by the world’s most celebrated photographers.

Courtyard of the Meiji Temple, Japan. 1951. Image © Werner Bischof / Magnum Photos via

The images featured include both celebrated icons of photography and lesser-known surprises. The selection encompass over seventy years of history: from the Paris riots of 1968 by Bruno Barbey to René Burri’s filmic sequence of close-ups of Che Guevara and even Eve Arnold’s iconic portrait of Malcolm X.

Joan Crawford, 1959 Photography by Eve Arnold via AnotherMag
Dali Auomicus, 1948 Photography by Philippe Halsman via AnotherMag

Magnum Contact Sheets includes 139 contact sheets together with the accompanying final image, representing 69 photographers, as well as selected photographs, press cards, notebooks and spreads from contemporary publications, including Life magazine. Further insight is provided by texts written by the photographers themselves or by experts.

Box Spread via

Magnum Contact Sheets is published by Thames & Hudson and is now on sale.

An accompanying exhibition is being held at the Magnum Print Room in London, from November 9 to January 27 2012.

Magnum Contact Sheets: The Symposium is being held in conjunction with the Photography Department of London College of Communication on Saturday, 26th November 2011. The one day event will discuss and address topics and issues raised by the book; in particular the foreword written by Kristen Lubben, Associate Curator of the International Center of Photography, New York.

Sources:,, and

written by webo29 on 2011-11-10 #news #book #london #exhibition #symposium #magnum #requested #contact-sheets

One Comment

  1. homer
    homer ·

    I can't wait to get my hands on this

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