Eve Arnold (1912-2012) is an American photojournalist and was the first female member of the Magnum Photos agency (in 1951, becoming a full member in 1957).
Arnold was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to immigrant Russian-Jewish parents, William (born Velvel Sklarski) and Bessie Cohen (born Bosya Laschiner).
Her interest in becoming a photographer began in 1946, when she worked for a photo-finishing plant in New York City. She briefly learned photographic skills in 1948 from Harper’s Bazaar art director, Alexei Brodovitch.
Arnold is best known for her benevolent, intimate images of actress Marilyn Monroe on the set of Monroe’s last (1961) film, The Misfits, but she took many photos of Monroe from 1951 onwards.
An exhibition of previously unseen photos of Monroe was displayed at the Halcyon Gallery in London in May 2005.
Marilyn trusted Arnold more than any other photographer, a relationship that is well-documented.
Due to Arnold’s sympathetic approach towards her subjects and protective nature of them afterwards, she is able to capture a closeness that is not easy for most others to capture. Not only has Arnold photographed VIPs such as Queen Elizabeth II, Malcolm X, and Joan Crawford, she has traveled extensively around the world, photographing in China, Russia, South Africa, and Afghanistan.
In 1980, she had her first solo exhibition which featured her photographic work in China at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City. She also did a series of portraits of American Presidents’ wives.
Eve Arnold’s People 2009 Awards Received Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, 1997. Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters, Staffordshire University. Doctor of Humanities, Richmond, the American International University in London. Master Photographer, International Center of Photography, NYC. Honorary OBE by the British Government.
Eve Arnold has published eleven books and has had innumerable exhibitions, both in Britain and abroad:
The Unretouched Woman, 1976
Flashback: The 50”s, 1978
In China, 1980
In America, 1983
Marilyn for Ever, 1987
Marilyn Monroe. An Appreciation. Photographs and text by Eve Arnold. 1987
Private View: Inside Baryshnikov”s American Ballet Theatre, 1988
All in a Day”s Work. Photographs by Eve Arnold – 1989
The Great British, 1991
In Retrospect, 1995
Magna Brava: Magnum”s Women Photographers (with Inge Morath, Susan Meiselas, Martine Franck, and Marilyn Silverstone), Nov. 1999
“I found myself in the privileged position of photographing somebody who I had first thought had a gift for the camera, but who turned out had a genius for it.” Eve Arnold