Eve Arnold was self taught; the only formal training she received was a brief course at the New School for Social Research in New York, with Alexey Brodovitch, the renowned art director of Harper’s Bazaar. It was on assignment for this class that Arnold sought to address the artificiality of fashion photography in the 1950s, and at the same time give some attention to the black fashion world that was not acknowledged by the dominant fashion press of the day. In Harlem, a black area in a segregated New York, over 300 fashion shows were taking place a year. Pictured here is Josephine Baker.

I don't see anybody as either ordinary or extraordinary

Eve Arnold
© Eve Arnold | Magnum Photos

Eve Arnold was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Russian immigrant parents. She began photographing in 1946, while working at a photo-finishing plant in New York City, and then studied photography in 1948 with Alexei Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research in New York.

Joining Magnum in 1957 as the agency’s first female photographer, Arnold captured some of the most significant individuals and groups of the era. She is well known for her intimate portraits of Marilyn Monroe, with whom she became good friends.

Other significant projects include her documentation of the Nation of Islam and the black fashion world of 1950s Harlem, as well as her extensive work in China, for which she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Magazine Photographers. Eve Arnold died in January 2012.

© Eve Arnold | Magnum Photos

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