Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Inge Morath

 Inge Morath, Self-Portrait, Jerusalem 1958

Inge Morath (1923-2002) was born in Graz, Austria. Her parents were scientists whose work took them to different laboratories and universities in Europe during her childhood. Educated in French speaking schools, Morath and her family relocated to Darmstadt in the 1930s, and then to Berlin, where Morath's father directed a chemical laboratory. Morath was registered at the Luisenschule near Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse.

 Inge Morath, Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe, Reno, 1960

Morath's first encounter with avant-garde art was the Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) exhibition organized by the Nazi party in 1937, which sought to inflame public opinion against modern art. "I found a number of these paintings exciting and fell in love with Franz Marc's Blue Horse", Morath later wrote. "Only negative comments were allowed, and thus began a long period of keeping silent and concealing thoughts."

 This is the 39th production black Leica M2. It was owned by Inge Morath.

After finishing high school, Morath entered Berlin University. At university, She studied languages, and became fluent in French, English, and Romanian in addition to her native German (to these she later added Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Chinese). Towards the end of the war, Morath was drafted for factory service in Berlin-Tempelhof, alongside Ukrainian prisoners of war. During an attack on the factory by Russian bombers, she fled - walking hundreds of miles to Austria.

 Inge Morath, A Llama in Times Square, 1957

Morath encountered photographer Ernst Haas in post-war Vienna. Working together for Heute, Morath wrote articles to accompany Haas' pictures. In 1949, Morath and Haas were invited by Robert Capa to join the newly-founded Magnum Photos in Paris, where she would work as an editor. In 1953, Morath presented her first large picture story, on the Worker Priests of Paris, to Capa, and he invited her to join the agency as a photographer. One of her earliest assignments took her to London for a story about the inhabitants Soho and Mayfair. Morath's portrait of publisher Eveleigh Nash, from that assignment, is among her best known photographs: 

 Inge Morath, Mrs. Eveleigh Nash, The Mall, London, 1953

In 1953-54, Morath worked with Henri Cartier-Bresson as a researcher and assistant, and in 1955 she was invited to become a full member of Magnum Photos. During the late 1950s Morath traveled widely, covering stories in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the United States, and South America for such publications as HolidayParis Match, and Vogue

Inge Morath, Marilyn Monroe in Misfits, 1961

Having met director John Huston while she was living in London, Morath worked on several of his films. Huston's Moulin Rouge (1952) was her first time working in a film studio. Morath worked again with Huston in 1960 on the set of The Misfits. Morath met Arthur Miller while working on The Misfits, and - following Miller's divorce from Marilyn Monroe - they were married in 1962. Their first collaboration was the book In Russia (1969), which, together with Chinese Encounters (1979), described their travels in the Soviet Union and China. Another long-term project was Morath's documentation of many of the most important productions of Arthur Miller's plays.

 Inge Morath, Sibiu (Hermanstadt), Romania 1958

During the 1980s and '90s, Morath continued to pursue both assignments and independent projects. The film Copyright by Inge Morath was made by German filmmaker Sabine Eckhard in 1992, was one of several films selected for a presentation of Magnum Films at the Berlin Film Festival in 2007. Inge Morath Miller died of cancer in 2002, at the age of 78. The Inge Morath Foundation was established by Morath’s family, in 2003, to preserve and share her legacy.


  1. "A Lama in Times Square" cannot be from 1957.
    The movie poster on the theater (in the photo) reads: Judy Holliday - Rings Are Ringing. The film was in theaters starting from 1960 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053645/).

  2. Sorry, the name of the movie is: "Bells Are Ringin"

  3. The play, "Bells Are Ringing," opened at the Shubert Theatre on November 29, 1956.

    source: http://www.wtv-zone.com/lumina/plays/bells.html