b. 1923

d. 2016



Personal website

Born in Lyons in 1923, Marc Riboud was active in the French Resistance from 1942 to 1945. Until 1951, Riboud worked as an engineer in Lyons factories, then became a freelance photographer and moved to Paris in 1952. He was invited to join Magnum as an associate by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa in 1953; in 1955 he became a full member.

In the mid-1950s, he set off for India in a specially converted Land Rover that once belonged to Magnum co-founder George Rodger, who had used it for his celebrated work in Africa. When he went to China in 1957, Riboud was one of the first European photographers to visit the country; he returned for a lengthy stay in 1965 with writer K. S. Karol. He is best known for his extensive reports on the East: The Three Banners of China (1966), Faces of North Vietnam (1970), Visions of China (1981), Angkor: The Serenity of Buddhism (1992), In China (1996), Tomorrow Shanghai (2003) and Istanbul 1954–1998 (2003).

One of his most famous pictures was taken in Washington, DC, during the 1967 March for Peace in Vietnam: a young woman holds a flower towards the bayonets of soldiers guarding the Pentagon. Riboud’s photographs have appeared in numerous magazines, including Life, Geo, National Geographic, Paris-Match and Stern. He twice won the Overseas Press Club Award (1966 and 1970), and had major retrospectives at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1985), International Center of Photography, New York (1988 and 1997), and Maison Européenne de la Photographie (2004). In 2011, he donated 192 original prints made between 1953 and 1977 to the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. His work has been distinguished by numerous prestigious awards and is held in museums and galleries including the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum in Beijing, and Moderna Museet in Stockholm, among others.

Marc Riboud died in Paris on August 30, 2016, aged 93. The core of his archives has been donated to Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts, Paris.

Selected works

Theory & Practice

In Memoriam: Marc Riboud, 1923 – 2016

Marc Riboud

The life and work of early Magnum member Marc Riboud

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