Friend of Marilyn Monroe & Pioneering Photojournalist Eve Arnold, Dies Aged 99

January 12, 2012 on 5:11 pm | In Breaking News, Celebrities, Eve Arnold, Famous People, Marilyn Monroe, Photography, Photojournalism | No Comments

It is with regret that we inform you of the passing of legendary photojournalist, Eve Arnold on 4th January 2012

(Eve Arnold at work. She was one of the first photographers of her era to break away from only shooting in the confined studios of Hollywood)

Born in Philadelphia in 1912, Eve Arnold never intended to become a pioneer of the photographic industry. In fact, the very idea of earning a living through the art of photography wasn’t even considered until 38 year old Arnold was handed a $40 Rolleiflex by her boyfriend…and as they say, the rest is history.

Click image below, for more info on the limited edition photo

(A Thoughtful Moment, The Misfits, 1960
– limited edition photo of 495 Copies)

Through her naturalistic style, Arnold always managed to capture the mood and emotion of her subject, and by doing so would tell their poignant story through her photos.

By the 1950’s, Eve’s career path had changed dramatically. She was the only woman to have joined the prestigious Magnum Photography Agency wherein she got to travel the world capturing on film disabled Vietnam war veterans, Mongolian Herdsmen, migrant workers, and civil rights protesters of apartheid South Africa. Magnum, previously known for its predominantly masculine and harder approach to photography was now, for the first time, projecting a softer ethos. This was down to the feminine sensibility and the skilful art of storytelling apparent in every image captured by the legendary Eve Arnold.

(Eve Arnold. Cuba, Havana. Bar girl in a brothel in the red light district. 1954.)

By the mid 1950’s it was apparent that Eve Arnold was equally at ease photographing the Hollywood elite of her era, including the likes of Joan Crawford. However, it was her candid shots of the now late Marilyn Monroe that she became best known for. Marked by her sense of compassion and understanding, Arnold took on a photojournalistic approach to her work allowing her to capture images of Monroe in a naturalistic style never seen before. Arnold’s style was directly opposed to the generically staged studio photography sessions associated with Hollywood at the time.

Click image below, for more info on the limited edition photo

(Marilyn Taking Direction, The Misfits, 1960
– limited edition photo of 495 Copies)

In the ten years that Eve Arnold extensively photographed Marilyn Monroe, she became a close friend to the movie star up until her tragic death in 1962. It was this friendship and trust between the two that allowed Eve to intimately capture Monroe’s spontaneous moods. Marilyn allowed Eve to portray her as more than just a blonde bombshell of the big screen. Instead, we were able to see her as human. A human who, just like the rest of us, had moments of vulnerability and insecurity. This charm and fragility can be seen in many of Eve’s photographs of Miss Monroe, but perhaps is most poignantly portrayed in ‘Memorising Lines’; as Monroe is captured insecurely holding her hands to her face as she attempts to remember her lines on the set of her 1960 film ‘The Misfits’.

(Eve Arnold. Memorising Lines, The Misfits. 1960)

Although we have lost Eve Arnold in person, her legacy will most certainly live on. Through her pioneering photojournalistic approach to her art, and her unique and privileged relationships with her subjects, Arnold cemented her place as one of the photographic industry’s most revered figures of the 20th Century. And it is here she will forever remain.

Rest In Peace, Eve.


(All images are copyright Eve Arnold & Magnum Photography)

Useful Links:

The Guardian – Eve Arnold’s most memorable shots

Marilyn Monroe – Biography

BBC’s selection of Eve Arnold’s work

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