The Magnum Photos Endowment Fund has requested that Sotheby’s proceed with the sale of a portfolio of prints offered by Magnum photographers at an auction to be held in Paris on November 16.
The portfolio consists of 65 collector prints -- both black and-white and colour -- by many of the most famous photographers of the 20th century, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Werner Bischof, Robert Capa, Josef Koudelka, Inge Morath, Herbert List, Steve McCurry, Martine Franck, Raymond Depardon, Abbas, Martin Parr, Patrick Zachmann, Marc Riboud, Jim Goldberg, Susan Meiselas, Erich Hartmann, Bruce Davidson and Paolo Pellegrin.
The underlying theme is "The Nude," from traditional approaches to eye-catching reinterpretations.
The sale is being staged to help the new foundation establish itself and pursue its missions: to preserve the archives of photographers who have bequeathed their works to the Foundation, to protect their copyright, to promote their work via books and exhibitions and to ensure this visual heritage is accessible to historians and researchers.
The Fund already boasts over 1,250 prints and 500 books by Magnum photographers; rights to these prints are inalienable. In the words of Abbas, president of the Magnum Endowment Fund: "Sixty-five photographers and 65 nudes… all celebrating the 65th anniversary of Magnum Photos! I think our four founders - Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David ‘Chim’ Seymour and George Rodger - would have approved! I can sense their spiritual blessing for this auction at Sotheby’s, as it will help Magnum take a new step forward with the launch of La Fondation Magnum. We wanted this portfolio to be unique, and also to be a nice surprise, so the theme of The Nude was a natural choice, as Magnum is not known for its nudes! But, once we began to assemble the prints, we were ourselves surprised by the variety of nudes we came across."
Simone Klein, Head of European Photography at Sotheby’s, says that "Working closely with Magnum Fund President Abbas to select what to include in this selection...was a real pleasure and quite a challenge. The result is a unique portfolio of supreme quality, bringing together magnificent images - some never published - exploring this enthralling subject in all its diversity, in styles both traditional and innovative, and in both colour and black-and-white, charting over half a century of artistic creation by Magnum’s top photographers."