Arts & Culture

The Magnum Holiday Gift Guide

From signed photobooks to online courses, find inspiration for your holiday shopping in the Magnum Shop.

The Lighting Ceremony and Holiday River Parade at the San Antonio River. Texas, USA, 1990. © Hiroji Kubota / Magnum Photos

With the holiday season fast approaching and shipping deadlines looming, we’ve compiled a selection of gift inspiration and ideas to help you get ahead of your holiday shopping.

For the Photobook Lover

There are over 200 books to browse from in the online bookstore, ranging from rare finds from the Magnum archive to signed copies of the latest publications. Highlights from this year include debut monographs from Myriam Boulos and Emin Özmen, as well as new releases from Carolyn Drake, David Hurn, Jim Goldberg, Ian Berry, Thomas Hoepker and many more. 

Celebrating one hundred years since the birth of Marc Riboud is For the Long Haul, published by Atelier EXB, which brings together 125 images that take us on a journey through his extensive travels over the decades, as well as previously unpublished early photographs.

Alessandra Sanguinetti’s On the Sixth Day, published this fall by MACK, is a new, expanded edition of the original, published in 2005 and long out of print. This new edition allows us all to revisit the cult classic, and there are even a few signed copies to be found in the Shop. In a similar vein is a new edition of Alex Webb’s Dislocations, first published in 1998 as an experiment in alternative book-making by Harvard’s Film Study Center.

And for those interested in Magnum’s history, Kehrer has published the very first monograph covering the breadth of Burt Glinn’s career (Burt Glinn: Half a Century as a Magnum Photographer), one of the first Americans to join Magnum in 1951. Aperture, in partnership with the Magnum Foundation, has also published a visual biography of the life and work of Josef Koudelka written by Melissa Harris this November, titled Josef Koudelka: Next

As well as individual releases, there is also a selection of curated bundles to explore — from the Magnum Starter and Essentials Bundles priced at $60 (from the original price of $162), to a bundle of black-and-white classics at just over $200, which includes Bruce Gilden’s Cherry Blossom, Larry Towell’s The Mennonites and Alec Soth’s Songbook, with each of the three books signed by the photographer.

Browse the full Magnum online bookshop here.

For the Print Collector 

As well as the online bookstore, the Magnum Shop is full of posters and prints of images from the Magnum archive, dating back to the cooperative’s beginnings in the 1940s and covering over 75 years of photographic history. With a range of formats and price points, these are the perfect way to share your interest in photography and help decorate the homes and special spaces of your close ones. 

The Magnum Editions collection is a series of 8×10” archival pigment prints, sold in limited editions of 100. Conceived as a way to make print collecting more accessible, the lower price point and size of these prints mean that they are a great way to start or grow an art collection.

Almost sold out in this 8×10″ collection are two images very suitable for music fans; Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg at their flat in Paris, shot by Ian Berry in 1970, and Bob Dylan at the height of his fame outside his home in 1968, captured on infrared film by Elliott Landy.

And unique to the Magnum Shop are two further collections: Darkroom Prints and Magnum Contact Sheet Prints. Both present an exclusive look into the making of iconic images from the Magnum archive. While the Darkroom Prints — such as the one pictured below of Muhammad Ali and his world-famous fist — celebrate the eye of the printer and the intimate art of developing in the darkroom, the Contact Sheet Prints reveal the hidden story behind each image.

Often we wonder how an iconic image is made — whether the scene was pure chance, whether it was orchestrated, and what lies just outside of the frame. Studying contact sheets answers these questions and more with a glimpse behind the scenes of the photographer’s creative process. Studying Elliott Erwitt’s contact sheet of a shoot with Marilyn Monroe — one of the 41 contact sheet prints available — it is as though Monroe comes to life before our eyes, with her good mood, her humor, and her laughter completely contagious.

For those looking for posters rather than prints, there are over 180 to choose from, ranging from Capa to McCurry. A rare find currently available is a limited-edition signed (or unsigned) poster of a pressed wildflower from Oliva Arthur, taken from a series made at the Californian mountain of Otay in 2019. 

All posters and prints from the online store can be purchased already framed, but must be ordered before November 19 to arrive in time for the holidays.

Browse all prints here, and posters here.

For the Aspiring or Practicing Photographer

And, finally, perhaps the most precious gift of them all is the gift of learning. Two new Magnum online courses were released this year, one with Magnum president Cristina de Middel, titled Stranger than Reality, and another with Mark Power, called Picturing Place

Both present a comprehensive and detailed look into the practice of the two award-winning photographers through 18 lessons, between 4 and 6 hours of video content (depending on the course) and a series of accompanying workbooks and exercises to be followed from home.  

De Middel opens the door to her creative universe from her home in Salvador, Brazil, taking us on a journey through her past, present, and future as a visual storyteller while sharing a wealth of tips, advice and exercises along the way. Exploring the relationship between ‘truth,’ reality, and fiction in photography, De Middel aims to help individuals find their unique photographic voice.

Meanwhile, Power brings 25 years of teaching to an online audience with a pragmatic and comprehensive guide to building a sustainable career in photography and shooting projects in both familiar and unfamiliar places with purpose, passion, and perseverance. We follow the photographer from his studio in Brighton, England to Alaska with exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage from his mammoth Good Morning, America series. 

The two courses join a series of eight courses in total, with others starring Alec Soth, Gregory Halpern, Susan Meiselas, Matt Black and more. Priced at $99, each course can be scheduled to arrive in your close one’s inbox on a chosen date, and will grant them lifetime access to the course, allowing them to develop and build their photographic practice from the comfort of their home (or wherever there is wifi).

Browse the full catalog of courses here.

For those who aren’t sure… 

And if you know someone who would appreciate an offering from the Magnum community but are not quite sure what exactly to buy, or would rather leave them the chance to choose for themselves, an online gift card option is available. Delivered directly to their inbox, the recipient can browse the wide selection of prints, posters, books, objects and online courses from Magnum and its community of photographers and estates.

To browse the full Magnum Shop, click here.
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