Now here’s a deal that seems too good to pass up if you love great photography. The work of pioneering photojournalist Eve Arnold, who was the first female photographer in the legendary Magnum Photos collective, has just become available to the public and you can own one of her “iconic and unseen” images for around $40.
Arnold’s images have gone one sale in the form of 16 x 20-inch posters and are part of an effort by her grandson and archivist Michael Arnold to live up to one of her famous quotes about the democracy of photography:
“I would prefer photography to be a folk art – cheap and available to everybody, rather than elevated to mandarin proportions created through an artificial scarcity.” – Eve Arnold
Michael Arnold said the quote elicited a memory of a story his grandmother would tell about her first London show. She had wanted students to be able to afford her work, so she sold prints from the show at drastically reduced prices. Later on, however, she discovered to her dismay that art dealers had bought the prints and sold them for a profit.
Included in the limited-edition poster collection are three unseen and 12 of Arnold’s most iconic photos including well-known and rare images of Marilyn Monroe; the Civil Rights movement in America in the 1950s and ‘60s; and intimate portraits and human interest, including “A baby’s first five minutes.”
The posters, which are printed on archival-quality Epson Ultra Premium Luster photo paper, are selling on the Eve Arnold website for 30 British pounds each, which converts to around $40 USD. Before this collection, Eve Arnold’s best work was only available as museum quality prints, starting at 1000 pounds.
Eve Arnold’s Marilyn Monroe images are refreshingly candid, showing the doomed Hollywood starlet rehearsing her lines in the back of a car or mentally preparing herself on the set of the Misfits before a pivotal scene with Clark Gable.
“My most poignant memory of Marilyn is of how distressed, troubled and still radiant she looked when I arrived in Nevada to work on The Misfits,” Arnold would later say. “She asked immediately how she looked, and she wanted and needed reassurance. It was four years since we had worked together, and she looked into my eyes for a long moment to make sure she could still trust me.”
Arnold’s documentary works is equally mesmerizing. One of her most famous shots (in the middle of this story) showing a bar girl in a brothel in Cuba combines raw photojournalism with the eye of cinematographer; while her image from 1979 of horse training for a militia in Mongolia show she was equally adept at color photography as she was at black-and-white.
(H/T to Phil Mistry at PetaPixel)