ARNOLD, EVE (1912 – 2012), U.S. photographer. The first woman to be a member of the prestigious Magnum Photo Agency, Arnold was born in Philadelphia to Russian immigrants (her father, William Cohen, was a rabbi) and took up photography in 1946 after working at a photo-finishing plant in New York City. Her first picture was of a Bowery bum on the New York waterfront "sleeping off his excesses," she said. In 1948, she married Arnold Arnold, an industrial designer, and gave birth to their son, Frank. Arnold began her professional career while living on Long Island, near New York, in the 1950s. "People would come out to Long Island for me to photograph them on the beach," she recalled in an interview. "I took a series of Marilyn Monroe standing among the bulrushes. She was a beginning starlet and had seen photographs I'd done of Marlene Dietrich." She photographed Monroe in six formal sessions over a ten-year period. "Unschooled, clever, intuitive, very smart, she exuded fun and joy, and then as the years went by she became
sad, withdrawn, and unhappy." Her pictures of movie stars and celebrities caught off guard resulted in memorable images: a slouchy Dietrich in a recording studio,
glued to a lecture at the Actors Studio, a 50-plus Joan Crawford in the nude, all shot in black and white. These photographs changed the nature of Hollywood photography from formal to informal and set the tone for the celebrity photos now common.
During that period, Arnold also photographed the first five minutes of a baby's life for Life magazine. "I photographed birth around the world, the last place Tibet. I photographed more deliveries than most doctors have delivered babies." She said the personal tragedy of losing a child had led her to this subject. "The only way I could lay that pain to rest was by going to the source."
Arnold became best known for her intimate photographs of Monroe on the set of the 1961 film The Misfits, which was written for her by her husband
. The photographs, preserved in more than 200 contact sheets, are considered classics both for the photography and the emotion portrayed between Monroe and her husband. Arnold also photographed Malcolm X in Harlem in the early 1950s, seedy life in pre-Castro Cuba, and the dreadful life inside an insane asylum in Haiti. She additionally took candid shots of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy and Roy Cohn in their hearing room in 1954 as well as stark images of Khrushchev's Soviet Union. She was one of the first photojournalists to work in color, and she made lavish images of mainland China in the 1970s.
In 1962, Arnold moved to London to enroll her son at the boarding school where her husband had studied. The marriage fell apart, and Arnold lived in London and continued to photograph in places mostly closed to the rest of the world. She published 12 books and her work is included in most major museum collections. Her many honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Magazine Photographers in 1980. In 1995, she was made a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and was elected Master Photographer, the world's most prestigious photographic honor, by New York's International Center of Photography.