How would you start your collection of prints from the Magnum Photos archive? Would you begin with a classic from the early days of the agency; a surrealistic street photo, maybe, in the style of Elliott Erwitt, capturing a poetic moment from everyday life? Or are you drawn to the Magnum’s new contemporaries, such as Cristina de Middel, the agency’s new president, and her storytelling approach to documenting the world? What would hold your gaze for years to come: a scene depicting some world-changing historical event, or something more humorous or contemplative?
With the launch of Editions in 2020, starting a personal collection of Magnum prints became a more affordable, more accessible option for photography enthusiasts around the world. Sixteen images were made available as estate-stamped and archival-quality 8×10 prints in a limited edition of 100 each, including turning points in history, such as Stuart Franklin’s ‘The Tank Man’ from Tiananmen Square in 1989, and movie icons including Audrey Hepburn (as shot by David Seymour in 1956) and Marilyn Monroe (Eve Arnold, 1960).
Covering the contemporary and the classic from within the Magnum archive, the collection has come to represent the breadth of vision and practice embodied by Magnum photographers over the past seven decades.
From a Bob Henriques photograph of the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in Washington D.C. (1957) to a Cristina de Middel image from Brazil during the pandemic (2021), the new collection covers six decades of photography.
Two classics from the archive join the collection; a fourth image by Elliot Erwitt, this time from his travels in Florida Keys in the late 1960s; and Inge Morath’s image of a flurry of bikes on Beijing’s iconic, bustling Chan An Avenue one early morning in 1978, during her first trip to China with her husband, Arthur Miller.
Meanwhile, images from Nanna Heitmann’s World Press Photo-winning project, As Frozen Land Burns, and Yael Martínez’s Migrant Road project in Honduras and Mexico, capture pressing issues in contemporary society, touching on themes of climate change and migration. An image from Olivia Arthur’s series In Private/Mumbai also features, capturing members of the LGBTQIA+ community in quiet, intimate moments in India’s largest city.
And, in terms of places, the new collection ranges across five continents, from Trent Parke’s picture from his modern classic, Dream/Life, which portrays an atmospheric and misty Sydney from 2001, to an image from Mark Power’s Destroying the Laboratory for the Sake of Experiment, depicting an abandoned theme park ride in Lincolnshire in 2006, or Rafal Milach’s photo from In the Car with R, which captures a snow-laden housing block in Iceland from the photographer’s journey around Route 1 in 2011.
Shop the full Magnum Editions collection here.