Remembering Magnum Photographer Inge Morath
"Photography is a strange phenomenon... You trust your eye and cannot help but bare your soul." (Inge Morath)
|Inge Morath Self Portrait, Jerusalem, 1958|
After studying languages in Berlin, she became a translator, then a journalist and the Austrian editor for Heute, an Information Service Branch publication based in Munich.
In 1949, Morath was invited by Robert Capa to join the newly founded Magnum Photos in Paris, where she started as an editor. She began photographing in London in 1951, and assisted Henri Cartier-Bresson as a researcher in 1953-54. In 1955, after working for two years as a photographer, she became a Magnum member.
Her work included striking portraits of both posed celebrities and fleeting images of anonymous passers-by. Her feeling for places as reflected in images of Boris Pasternak's home, Chekhov's house and Mao Zedong's bedroom was so sensitive that some viewers insisted they could see invisible people.
'Inge Morath possesses the priceless quality of making the world look as though it had been discovered only this morning and she was present with her lens to record its bright freshness,'' Harrison E. Salisbury wrote in The New York Times Book Review about the couple's book in Russia
Morath married the playwright Arthur Miller on February 17, 1962 and relocated permanently to the United States, where she had previously had assignments.
Ingeborg Morath Miller died of cancer on January 30, 2002, at the age of 78.
Because Morath devoted much of her enthusiasm to encouraging women photographers, her colleagues at Magnum Photos established the Inge Morath Award in her honor. The Award is now given by the Magnum Foundation as part of its mission of supporting new generations of socially-conscious documentary photographers, and is administered by the Magnum Foundation in collaboration with the Inge Morath Foundation.