Austria-born Inge Morath began photographing in London in 1951. In one of her earliest assignments for Magnum photos, she documented residents of two contrasting districts in London: Soho and the wealthier Mayfair. Morath is known for her high-profile images that provide a distinct insight into the wealthy and famous of post-war Europe. Pictured here, the publisher and socialite Eveleigh Nash on Buckingham Palace Mall, 1953.

To take pictures had become a necessity and I did not want to forgo it for anything

Inge Morath
© Inge Morath | Magnum Photos

Inge Morath was born in Graz, Austria, in 1923. She became a journalist and editor, and later wrote articles to accompany the photographs of her friend photographer Ernst Haas. Morath was invited by Robert Capa and Haas to Paris to join the newly founded Magnum agency as an editor and researcher. She began photographing in London in 1951, and joined Magnum as a photographer in 1953. While working on her own first assignments, Morath also assisted Henri Cartier-Bresson during 1953-54, becoming a full member in 1955.

In the following years, Morath traveled extensively in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East. Her special interest in the arts found expression in photographic essays published by a number of leading magazines. After her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller in 1962, Morath settled in New York and Connecticut.

Some of her most important work consists of portraits, but of passers-by as well as celebrities. Morath was also adept at photographing places: her pictures of Boris Pasternak’s home, Pushkin’s library, Chekhov’s house, Mao Zedong’s bedroom, artists’ studios and cemetery memorials are permeated with the spirit of invisible people still present. Morath died in New York City on 30 January 2002.

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