Dona Mercedes Formica, Madrid by Inge Morath
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Gelatin silver print
Image size: 8 ¾ x 13 ¾ inch
Signed, titled, dated, and annotated, in pencil, au verso
Printed circa 1985
Image credit: © The Inge Morath Foundation/Magnum Photos
Inge Morath was born in Graz, Austria, in 1923. 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. All her life Morath would remain a prolific diarist and letter-writer, retaining a dual gift for words and pictures that made her unusual among her colleagues.
A friend of photographer Ernst Haas, she wrote articles to accompany his photographs and was invited by Robert Capa and Haas to Paris to join the newly founded Magnum agency as an editor and researcher. She began photographing in London in 1951, and joined Magnum Photos as a photographer in 1953. While working on her own first assignments, Morath also assisted Henri Cartier-Bresson during 1953-54, becoming a full member in 1955.
In the following years, Morath traveled extensively in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Her special interest in the arts found expression in photographic essays published by a number of leading magazines. After her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller in 1962, Morath settled in New York and Connecticut. She first visited the USSR in 1965. In 1972 she studied Mandarin and obtained a visa to China, making the first of many trips to the country in 1978.
Morath was at ease anywhere. Some of her most important work consists of portraits, but of passers-by as well as celebrities. She was also adept at photographing places: her pictures of Boris Pasternak's home, Pushkin's library, Chekhov's house, Mao Zedong's bedroom, artists' studios and cemetery memorials are permeated with the spirit of invisible people still present. Inge Morath died in New York City on 30 January 2002.
- Source: Magnum Photos
Read our blog post about Inge Morath HERE.
The Extraordinary Life and Work of 20th - Century Photographer Inge Morath - AnOther Magazine, November 2018
From llamas to lefties: the intrepid Inge Morath - in pictures -The Guardian, November 2018
The quiet brilliance of Magnum photographer Inge Morath - The Guardian, November 2018Learning From The Master - Magnum Photos, October, 2018
Making llamas feel more glamorous than Marilyn Monroe: Inge Morath's iconic works (PDF) - DW, April 2018
The female gaze through 70 years of Magnum (PDF) - The Guardian, April 2017
Danube Revisited: The Inge Morath Truck Project goes on show (PDF) - British Journal of Photography, March 2017
In Inge Morath's Photographs, Womanhood Is Beautiful And Urgent (PDF) - Huffington Post, September 2016
The Unmistakable Style of Inge Morath, One of Magnum’s First Female Photographers (PDF) - Slate, September 2016
Adventure on the Danube (PDF) - Aperture, April 2016
Danube Revisited: Nine Photographers Retrace Inge Morath's Legendary Journey (PDF) - Time, May 2014
'A wide-eyed view of a crazy country' (PDF) - The Guardian, November 2006
Inge Morath, Photographer With a Poetic Touch, Dies at 78 (PDF) - The New York Times, January 2002