What to buy in August 2009

July 30, 2009

Russel Miller: Magnum 50 Years
In my last post I was talking about Eve Arnold being one of the most important members in the history of MAGNUM. I guess this is an opportunity to introduce a book that gives a good overview of the history, background and members of the world’s most famous photo agency.

Russel Miller’s work describes not only the way MAGNUM was founded by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and George Roger in the 1950s. He also gives very good insight in the psychology and dynamics of the agency by describing the life and the photography of some of it’s most famous members, including Werner Bischof, Eve Arnold, Inge Morath, David Seymour, Josef Koudelka, Philip Jones Griffiths, and others.

Miller not only talks about the grandeur of the agency and all its achievements. He also describes the struggles, arguments, and crises that MAGNUM went through in its 50 years of history, almost almost being at the brink of collapse and bankruptcy. And it describes the way MAGNUM had to adjust to a world in which the still picture seems to have lost it’s position to the moving picture and TV coverage of world events.
MAGNUM stands for honesty and finding the truth in photo journalism. It was always a creation of it’s time, both catching and at the same time struggling with zeitgeist and the conflict between the freedom of art the commercial need of it’s members. A book definitely worth reading.

This edition can be purchased here!


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