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21 June 2013
Eve Arnold, OBE, Hon. FRPS (née Cohen; April 21, 1912 – January 4, 2012) was an American photojournalist. She joined Magnum Photos agency in 1951, and became a full member in 1957
Eve Arnold was born Eve Cohen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the middle of nine children born to immigrant Russian-Jewish parents, William Cohen (born Velvel Sklarski), a rabbi, and his wife, Bessie (Bosya Laschiner). Her interest in photography began in 1946 while working in a New York City photo-finishing plant. Over six weeks in 1948, she learned photographic skills from Harper's Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan.
Eve Arnold photographed many of the iconic figures who shaped the second half of the twentieth century, yet she was equally comfortable documenting the lives of the poor and dispossessed, “migrant workers, civil-rights protestors of apartheid in South Africa, disabled Vietnam war veterans and Mongolian herdsmen.” For Arnold, there was no dichotomy: “"I don't see anybody as either ordinary or extraordinary," she said in a 1990 BBC interview, "I see them simply as people in front of my lens.”
Arnold's images of Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Misfits (1961) were perhaps her most memorable, but she had taken many photos of Monroe from 1951 onwards. Her previously unseen photos of Monroe were shown at an Halcyon Gallery exhibition in London during May 2005. She also photographed Queen Elizabeth II, Malcolm X, and Joan Crawford, and traveled around the world, photographing in China, Russia, South Africa and Afghanistan. Arnold left the United States and moved permanently to England in the early 1960s with her son, Frank Arnold. While working for the London Sunday Times, she began to make serious use of colour photography.