Eve Arnold




Eve Arnold is legendary. She was one of the 20th century’s foremost photographers and a pioneer of photojournalism. Although always associated with photos of Marilyn, her life career was long and vast.

Eve Arnold

Photo by Pat Booth

She died in 2012, aged 99. In her obituary, the Telegraph writes: Throughout her long career Eve Arnold’s pictures were always marked by understanding and compassion. She never strove for effect, and in the 1950s revelled in the advantages the new reportage had over studio-bound photographers. It allowed her to show celebrities in spontaneous mood, and to achieve unusual levels of intimacy and trust with her subjects, especially women.

She grew up in a poor Russian Jewish family. She initially intended to study Medicine, but a boyfriend gave her a camera and she became a keen amateur photographer. Eve was self-taught, her only tuition being a brief course in 1948 with Alexey Brodovitch, the celebrated art director of Harper’s Bazaar, at the New School for Social Research in New York. The class, which included ambitious professionals such as Richard Avedon, mercilessly criticised Eve Arnold’s amateur efforts. So see, you got to believe in yourself, even if someone says that contrary!

In 1957 she joined the renowned Magnum agency, becoming its first woman photographer. Examining her portfolio, Robert Capa pinpointed the twin strands of her work as being “Marlene Dietrich’s legs and the bitter lives of migratory potato pickers”. The lives of the celebrated and the mundane were to remain her favoured subjects. Her profile is here

You can read a good article about Eva Arnold here , written by Pat Booth