1912 - 2012
One of the world's leading photographers, Eve Arnold was born in Philadelphia to Russian immigrant parents. Her success is all the more impressive since she had virtually no formal training in photography, apart from a 6-week course at the New School for Social Research, which she entered in 1952. Her teacher, however, was the legendary Alexei Brodovitch, the art director of Harper's Bazaar. With his encouragement, Arnold embarked on a career as a photographer at a time when magazine photojournalism in America was at its height.
In 1954, Arnold's fresh quality and intelligent choice of subject matter brought her to the attention of Robert Capa, the head of Magnum Photos, the prestigious international cooperative of photographers. Capa invited her to join the group, and she became its first American woman member. Her mastery of the color processes and techniques popular in the 50s was extensive and assured, although she worked for preference in black-and- white.
Arnold became a star photographer for Life magazine during its heyday, capturing public figures such as Senator Joseph McCarthy and General Eisenhower at revealingly unguarded moments. She had a special affinity with Marilyn Monroe, whom she met when both were relatively unknown. "She was going places but she hadn't arrived," Arnold recalled. "It became a bond between us... Marilyn was very important in my career. I think I was helpful in hers."
Arnold also captured the lives of ordinary people, exploring such themes as birth, family, tragedy and racial prejudice. In the early 1960s, Arnold moved to London to work on the newly launched Sunday Times color magazine. In addition to photographing statesmen and showbiz celebrities, she also made a photographic record of the status of women around the world.
In 1995, she was awarded the Master of Photography Award by the International Center for Photography. Her life and career is itself a history of photojournalism in the 20th century.