At the Movies

Magnum Photos is an international photographic cooperative of great diversity and distinction founded in 1947 by four pioneering photographers: Robert Capa, Henri Cartier Bresson, George Rodger and David Seymour. Today it is still owned by its photographer members, who with powerful individual vision, chronicle the world and interpret its peoples, events, issues and personalities.
The 1950s, a period when the cult of the cinema idol grew, coincided with Magnum’s own ‘Golden Age’ – a time before television was widely available and the picture magazines reigned supreme as the main disseminators of news and publicity. Individual Magnum photographers forged friendships with movie stars, getting the kind of unchecked access no longer conceivable to today’s celebrities.
Henri Cartier-Bresson directed a number of films and Robert Capa’s extensive network of contacts included actors and directors amongst its ranks. Perhaps most fruitful in terms of images was Capa’s long term friendship with the American Film Director, John Houston. In 1961, ten Magnum photographers were given the exclusive rights to document the making of his seminal movie, The Misfits. Written by the American playwright, Arthur Miller, it featured a cast of Hollywood stars including Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift. The film became legendary as it was the last that Monroe and Gable ever made.
Magnum’s fine photographs have an established position within the international art market. Photographs are produced to the highest quality from original negatives where possible, and are signed by the photographer or stamped by their representative Estate. The provenance of Magnum’s images is widely recognized and their fine photographs are housed in many international museum collections.
This exhibition provides an introduction both to Magnum and Hollywood’s cinema heritage.