Iconic Magnum Photographs Exhibit To Be Shown at the Ringling Museum
Sarasota, FL—March 19, 2007 - The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art will feature over 150 famous photographs in the exhibition In Our Time: The World As Seen By Magnum Photographers on display May 19, 2007 through Aug. 12, 2007 in the Ulla R. and Arthur F. Searing Wing.
The exhibit celebrates the innovation and excellence of one of the most important groups in documentary photography: Magnum Photos, Inc. This cooperative covers nearly every major world event from the Spanish Civil war onward providing photographs to press, publishing, advertising, television, galleries, and museums across world.
In Our Time, encompasses the work of over forty of Magnum’s most internationally acclaimed photographers, including Cornell Capa, Rene Burri, Elliot Erwitt, Leonard Freed, Susan Meiselas, Gilles Peress, Marc Riboud, Inge Morath, Burt Glinn, Dennis Stock, Eve Arnold, Erich Lessing, Sebastiao Salgãdo and its founders, Robert Capa, George Rodger, David “Chim” Seymour, and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
“The Ringling is excited to host this collection of dramatic black and white photographs for its range of intense subject matter, precise composition and the compassionate portrayal of the human condition,” says, Joanna Weber curator of exhibitions at the Ringling Museum. “In Our Time is not only a visual history of the last half of the 20th century, but a diverse experience of the past made new by those who view it.”
Documenting industry, society, politics, disasters, conflicts, peoples and personalities, this collection showcases some of their most recognized photos and demonstrates Magnum’s enduring commitment to creating a visual narrative for the world and its people.
The founders established the cooperative in 1947 in response to World War II. In the decades to follow, Magnum prospered, bringing photojournalism into its hey day. Today offices exist in London, New York, Paris, and Tokyo, where Magnum photographers continue to document major world, cultural and personal moments while maintaining a level of quality and expression of care that is characteristic of all members.
The group revolutionized the relationship between photographer and editor. Before Magnum, photographers were assigned according to the editorial needs of the media source and the photographers work became property of the publication. Magnum’s founders established their own agency, allowing them to copyright their work thereby maintaining artistic freedom; the ability to choose their own subject matter and its treatment.
Meanwhile, the cooperative came to embody a particular spirit in photography.
Shaped by war time experience, the founders approached their individual styles with a shared commitment to document history, not in a cold “account” or “itemization,” but with sincerity and the fullness of a narrative.
Robert Capa, the charismatic leader of the group, became consonant with combat photography for his prolific images of the D-day invasion and the Spanish Civil war.
Rodger made his mark in the war as well, covering the blitz and liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. After the war, Rodger redirected his focus to covering African tribal life seen in Girls of the Bachimbiri Tribe in a courting dance, Uganda-Congo border.
Polish-born Chim, who lost his parents to the Nazis, brought a sensitivity to Magnum’s philosophy, and is best known for his photographs of European children affected by WWII as in Children of Europe.
Cartier-Bresson, the revolutionary of the group, spent most of the war as a German prisoner in France and went on to cover many of political revolutions in South Asia. His photos of Ghandi’s funeral in 1948 are of particular importance to the collection as they expose an American audience to the idea of civil disobedience in India, a major tool in America’s own Civil Rights Movement in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s.
The collection represents life on the periphery as well as in the mainstream. From Leonard Freed’s photograph of Martin Luther King, Jr. receiving the noble prize and Bruno Barbey’s famous photograph of the student riots in Paris, Magnum covered nearly every momentous political event in the second half of the 20th Century.
At the same time, Magnum brought new perspectives to pop culture throughout the years. Eve Arnold’s candid photos of Marilyn Monroe and Dennis Stock’s image of James Dean walking alone through Times Square are immortalized in American media.
Though Capa and Chim were killed before Magnum’s tenth anniversary, Cartier-Bresson continued to carry the torch. As Magnum’s revolutionary voice box, he maintained the group’s fiercely independent spirit pushing Magnum to continue to produce images that capture a holistic and intimate view of world history and the people that live it.
In Our Time, on loan from George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, marks the first comprehensive survey of Magnum photographers work and was a gift from Eastman Kodak Company in 1999. George Eastman House is the world’s oldest photography museum, founded in 1947 on the estate of Kodak founder George Eastman. The museum has unparalleled collections of 400,000 photographs from 14,000 photographers dating from daguerreotypes to digital; 16,000 items of cameras technology; 28,000 motion picture titles and 3.5 million publicity stills and posters; and one of the world’s most comprehensive library of photographic books, manuscripts, and journals. In modern archives adjacent to the National Historic Landmark home, the museum offers world-leading graduate and post-graduate programs in photograph and film preservation.
General Admission includes the Ringling Museum of Art and special exhibitions,Cà d’Zan Mansion, Circus Museum,Mable’shistoric Rose Garden and Florida’s only rose test gardens, all on 66 acres of lushly landscaped grounds. Adults are $15; senior citizens (65 and over) are $13; children ages 6-17 are $5. Free Admission for children 5 and under accompanied by an adult, museum members. Advance tickets are available by calling 941.358.3180. Visit for more information.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, in its affiliation with Florida State University, is the largest museum/university complex in the nation. It preserves the legacy of John and Mable Ringling, educating and enabling a large and diverse audience to experience and take delight in a world-renowned collection of fine art; Cà d’Zan, the Ringling historic mansion; the Circus Museum; the Original Asolo Theater; and historic architecture, courtyard, gardens and grounds overlooking Sarasota Bay.