ICP Photographers Lecture Series: Eve Arnold
"My journeys were made by ox cart, first class planes, broken down jalopies, Rolls Royces, and on the back of a camel. My beds were in everything from the Grand Hotel in Rome to a broken charpoia in the alcove of a kitchen in a fleapit in Afghanistan. The plumbing was from the unspeakable to the luxurious. The meals ranged from the cervellles removed from the roasted brain pan of a sheikha in the Arab Emirates to a fourteen course banquet in my honor in China."
So writes Eve Arnokd in her latest book In Retrospect published by Alfred A. Knopf. It was to be a photo book, but once Arnold began to write her "introduction", the words and stories came so freely, her editor encouraged her to write it all down. The problem, Robert Gottlieb told her, is not when the words come, but when they do not. 100,00 words later, she completed her book.
Her interest in photography began when she recived a camera from a friend, and became serious when she successfully completed an assignment for Alexei Brodovitch, who was the art director of Harper's Bazaar. Arnold had taken his class -- her only formal learning in photography -- at the New School for Social Research in 1952, and had received the encouragement she needed to begin her career.
It began during the heyday of magazine journalism and she photographed politicians and heads of state, as well as entertainers. In 1957, she became a member of Magnum Photos, before moving to London in 1960 where she worked on the new Colour Magazine of the Sunday Times. During that decade, she documented the civil rights movement in the United States, as well as chronicling the status of women around the world.
In the 1970s and 80s, she continued to work for magazines, but also turned her attention to publishing books, including In China, In America, Marilyn Monroe: An Appreciation, and The Great British.