From Dietrich to Monroe, the famous shoots’ exhibition of the first woman photographer of the Magnum agency

It was the 1951 when Eve Arnold was called in the legendary photographic agency Magnum of the great French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. He was impressed by the New Yorker shoots of Arnold, which portrayed  the fashion shows in the Afro-American district of Harlem in New York. The Casa-Museo Villa Bassi, in Abano Terme, dedicates a wide retrospective exhibition to Eve Arnold with the title EVE ARNOLD – All about women, with her famous female portraits, which immortalize the Hollywood stars, from Marlene Dietrich to Marilyn Monroe. Arnold, together with the photographer Inge Morath (protagonist too of a exhibition dedicated to her in Casa of Carraresi in Treviso, until the last 9 of Juny), were the first two women photographer allowed in Magnum: the Parisians agency founded by Robert Capa in 1947, until that moment was populated only by great men photographer like Henri Cartier-Bresson or Werner Bischof, among the most famous photojournalist of the XX century.

Marlene Dietrich at the Columbia records studios, New York, USA, 1952 © Eve Arnold / Magnum Photos

The attendance of Arnold with the Hollywood celebrities started when she took the place of the photographer Ernst Haas for a report on the actress and singer Marlene Dietrich.

Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood, USA, 1960 © Eve Arnold / Magnum Photos  

The 1950 marks the meeting with Marilyn Monroe and the beginning of a partnership interrupted only by the death of the actress. The expressive strength of the Arnold’s shoots holds her female sensibility in the service of a job reserved to men for too long. «Paradoxically, I think that photographer must be an amateur in heart, someone who loves the job. Must have a well-nourished, a strong stomach, a distinct will, quick reflexes and a sense of adventure. Must be also ready to take risks», these are the words Arnold uses to define the figure of photographer. Her ability of being interpreter of femininity as “woman among women”, her fortune! Until the 8 December 2019, Abano Terme Museo, Villa Bassi Rathgeb. Info: