Photojournalist Eve Arnold died peacefully in a nursing home near her London home on January 4th, according to Magnum, the photo agency of which she was a member. She was 99.
Arnold was born in Philadelphia in 1912 to Russian immigrant parents. She began her photography career whilst working at the Stanbi Photos plant in New Jersey in 1946, and in 1948 studied photography with Alexei Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research in New York. She began to work as a commercial photographer in the late 1940s for a number of publications, including Life magazine.
She was known for her sensitive portraits and photographed many important people, including Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy, Malcolm X and Margaret Thatcher. Some of her most famous shots include portraits of Monroe which were published in Arnold's book "Marilyn Monroe: An Appreciation."
"Themes recur again and again in my work," Arnold was quoted as saying in her book, "The Unretouched Woman." "I have been poor and I wanted to document poverty; I had lost a child and I was obsessed with birth; I was interested in politics and I wanted to know how it affected our lives; I am a woman and I wanted to know about women."
Arnold began working for the Magnum agency in 1951, becoming the first woman member in 1957, reportedly after her images of Harlem fashion shows caught the eye of photographer and Magnum founder Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Arnold settled in London in the 1962, working for the Sunday Times newspaper. In the 1970s she traveled to the United Arab Emirates, photographing and filming Dubai's ruling family for "Behind the Veil," and was one of the first American photographers to work in China. The China photos were exhibited as her first solo show at the Brooklyn Museum in 1980, and were published in the book "In China."
Arnold published over 15 monographs, including a new publication "All About Eve" (TeNeues, January 2012). Of note is her 1997 book "In Retrospect" (Alfred A. Knopf) in which she recounts her life and career in her own words. She has been exhibited widely, mostly notably her Retrospective, originated by the Barbican, London in 1996, which received 62,000 visitors and toured internationally. She was a regular editorial contributor to global newspapers and magazines, in particular The Sunday Times.
Arnold was a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and in 1995 was named Master Photographer by New York's International Center of Photography. In 2003 she was honored by Queen Elizabeth, who made Arnold an officer of the Order of the British Empire in recognition for her services to photography.