Whether the subject is African American women from the Harlem ghetto, the iconic Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich or Afghan women in 1969, little changes. The intensity and expressive power of Eve Arnold‘s shots always reach extraordinary levels. The American photographer always utilized her feminine sensitivity in a profession that had been closed to women for far too long.
Casa Museo Villa Bassi in Abano Terme
The Casa Museo Villa Bassi in the heart of Abano Terme (Padua in the Veneto region), will host this amazing display of entirely female, original portraits by Eve Arnold. This is the first Italian retrospective on this theme dedicated to the great American photographer.
Who Was Eve Arnold
Eve Arnold, born Eve Cohen, daughter of a rabbi who emigrated from Russia to America, contends with Inge Morath as the first female photographer to have joined Magnum. In fact, they were the first two photographers to be fully admitted into the Parisian agency founded by Robert Capa in 1947. An agency which, before their arrival, had been reserved only for great male photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Werner Bischof.
These female pioneers are the protagonists of parallel retrospectives in Italy, both promoted by Suazes: Morath in Treviso at Casa dei Carraresi, and now Arnold in Abano Terme in this exhibition.
Arnold began her association with Magnum in 1951 when Henri Cartier -Bresson noticed the impressive work of her New York shots. These were images of the Afro-American neighborhood of Harlem, New York. Those same images, rejected in America for being too “scandalous”, were published by the English magazine Picture Post.
In 1952, together with her family, she moved to Long Island where she produced one of the most touching stories of her career: “The First Five Minutes in the Life of a Baby”, telling of the children born at the Mother Hospital of Port Jefferson. In 1956, she went with a psychologist friend to Haiti to document the secrets of Voodoo practices.
Called to replace photographer Ernst Haas for a report on Marlene Dietrich, she began frequenting Hollywood celebrities and America’s stars. 1950 marked the beginning of a deep association with Marilyn Monroe, that was interrupted only by the death of the actress. Joan Crawford was also photographed by Arnold. In 1960, she documented the filming of the The Misfits with Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, directed by John Houston with the screenplay written by Marilyn’s husband Arthur Miller.
After moving to London in 1962, Eve Arnold continued to work with and for movie stars, but also dedicated herself to travel reportage in many Middle and Far East countries including Afghanistan, China and Mongolia.
Between 1969 and 1971, she created the project “Behind the Veil”, which also became a documentary and testimony to the condition of women in the Middle East.
“Paradoxically, I think the photographer should be an amateur at heart – someone who loves the craft. Then she must have a healthy constitution, a strong stomach, a distinct will, quick reflexes and a sense of adventure, and be willing to take risks.”.
Thus Eve Arnold defines the figure of the photographer. Although her work bears witness to the struggle of breaking the barriers of “female photographer”, her fortune was precisely that ability to become an interpreter of femininity– a “woman among women”.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4 pm to 7 pm
Sunday from 10 am to 12:30 pm and from 4 pm to 7 pm
For entrance fees and directions to Abano Terme please visit the official website
Studio ESSECI di Sergio Campagnolo