“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.”
Eve Arnold was born in Philadelphia in April 1912 to Russian immigrant parents, she lived on Long Island when she became interested in photography. Her career began in the 1940s, working for Picture Post and Time / Life magazine during a golden age of magazine photojournalism.
Her portrait subjects were of the variety we all would envy from migrant laborers to bartenders, Cuban fishermen to Afghan nomads, and an amazing list of the very well known such as Joan Crawford, Liz Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy, Malcolm X, Margaret Thatcher and forty years of US Presidents.
“If you’re careful with people and if you respect their privacy, they will offer part of themselves that you can use,” she told the BBC in a 2002 interview.
Her most famous shots include portraits of Marilyn Monroe taken over a decade and collected in her book “Marilyn Monroe: An Appreciation.”
Arnold joined the Magnum agency in 1951 ( http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP=XSpecific_MAG.PhotographerDetail_VPage&l1=0&pid=2K7O3R14AZX1&nm=Eve%20Arnold ) the first woman admitted to the cooperative. In the 60’s she moved to London working at the Sunday Times Magazine.
In 2003 she was named an officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, by Queen Elizabeth II for services to photography.
At 99 years young, the self-proclaimed workaholic, Eve Arnold passed away last week. Somehow a simple thank you is probably all she would ever ask for … but that is simply not enough.