Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Eve Arnold: first R.I.P. of 2012

Eve Arnold [1912-2012], one of the first woman photojournalists to join the prestigious Magnum Photography Agency in the 1950s and had traveled the world for her work, but was best known for her candid shots of Hollywood celebrities, has died at the remarkable aged of 99; she would have been 100 in April.

Starting in 1951, when career women were a rarity, Arnold navigated distant countries and cultures for unusual photographs ranging from horse trainers in Mongolia to factory workers in China. Her photo essays appeared in feature news magazines like LIFE and in the many books she compiled, in that great age of photo-journalism. She also photographed the leading politicians of that era, including Mrs Thatcher.

She was one of the photographers assigned to the shooting of THE MISFITS in Nevada in 1960 and became friends with Marilyn Monroe who she had photographed several times before in the 50s. This later led to several books on Monroe and the shooting of that complex film. Old-timers like Crawford and Dietrich also recognised a great photograher when they saw one, and Arnold was also on the sets of various favourite 60s films of mine like JUSTINE and MODESTY BLAISE. Her book "Film Journal" covers these in detail along with interesting stories and some terrific photos like Bogarde with Ingrid Bergman, Vanessa Redgrave and her daughters, Loren with Chaplin, Vitti and Stamp recording MODESTY BLAISE (above) and of course a selection of those Monroe shots. Marilyn certainly glows in Arnold's lenses.

Like that other great photographer Bob Willoughby its a great career to celebrate and any of her collections of photographs are cherishable. I love this 1956 shot of Silvana Mangano's great profile.

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