Bruno Barbey began his relationship with Magnum Photos in 1964. He served as Magnum vice president for Europe in 1978/1979 and as President of Magnum International from 1992 to 1995. Barbey worked in all five continents and covered conflicts in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Kuwait. His work has appeared in the world’s major publication, and over 30 books of his work have been published to date.
Barbey received numerous awards for his work, including the French National Order of Merit. His photographs are exhibited worldwide, and feature in numerous museum collections.
Here, we share a statement from Magnum Photos president Olivia Arthur, and a number of his colleagues.
“I am saddened to announce the unexpected death of Bruno Barbey, who has been an important member of the Magnum family for over 50 years. A former President and active member of the community, he was passionate about photography and never stopped taking pictures. His photographs continue to be celebrated in numerous exhibitions and books and his work has earned him a place in the distinguished Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Remembered by his colleagues as a sophisticated and suave man, he was also generous with his time and thoughtful about the situations that he spent time covering, which ranged from global wars to the streets of Morocco, the country of his birth.
His pictures are full of life and his legacy will live on in them. He will be greatly missed.”
– Olivia Arthur, president, Magnum Photos
“Bruno was one of the pillars of the second generation of Magnum photographers. Of the second generation… but also of those that followed. Totally curious about the world, he knew how to calmly and finely analyze situations.
Bruno is one of those quite rare people who – when I am in certain difficult situations or I have doubts – I wonder about, and think, “What would Bruno have done?”
“A great photographer, a great human being. A terrible loss.”
“A long-time friend. A lovely man. An elegant photographer, as good as they get.”
“We are losing a loyal, most faithful friend, always looking for the news of the children, like an eternal child that he was and that he remains, curious about everything. Thank you Bruno for your kindness and your talent.”
“Sadness, grief, amazement.
The Magnum sky darkened deeply, all of a sudden, in the space of a fatal moment. Bruno departed. Going farther away, and for longer.
The brutal loss of a ‘friend’, as Henri used to call us.
A multitude of memories jostling at the gate of our many shared times.
The very first one was almost 50 years ago, when with Henri, Martine and Bruno I sat on a ladder set up against a tree to photograph the funeral of De Gaulle, who had died the same day, November 9. And, a little later – it was last Sunday – he called me, and we talked a good while together.
His presence, his availability, his attachment to Magnum and its history was constant and unfailing. He needed to be loved among us.
Magnum’s life will continue of course, but without him it will not be the same.”
“Extremly sad and sudden, we have lost a gentleman photographer. Sensitive and caring to the core, a great Magnum pillar! Bruno’s instinctive and powerful images arose from his heart – and naturally touched every heart – a torchlight that will illuminate many searching minds lost in trendy photography.
Only last October Bruno and Carolyn took me and my wife Meeta around to show me the gallery, at that time called Gallery Delpire, where I had my first exhibition in 1972 – and I marvelled… ‘Look at this man how he can connect with points of significance in other people’s lives…’
A loss of warmth and spiritual energy… He had the capacity to hold together many loose and lost ends!”
“Bruno will be remembered as one of Magnum’s “Greats”, a superb eye, combined with a warmth of vision. For me, a true friend, the passing of an era.”