Eve Arnold (born April 21, 1912) is an American photojournalist and was the first female member of the Magnum Photos agency (in 1951, becoming a full member in 1957).
Arnold was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to immigrant Russian-Jewish parents, William (born Velvel Sklarski) and Bessie Cohen (born Bosya Laschiner). Her interest in becoming a photographer began in 1946, when she worked for a photo-finishing plant in New York City. She briefly learned photographic skills in 1948 from Harper’s Bazaar art director, Alexei Brodovitch.
Arnold is best known for her benevolent, intimate images of actress Marilyn Monroe on the set of Monroe’s last (1961) film, The Misfits, but she took many photos of Monroe from 1951 onwards. An exhibition of previously unseen photos of Monroe was displayed at the Halcyon Gallery in London in May 2005. Marilyn trusted Arnold more than any other photographer, a relationship that is well-documented. Due to Arnold’s sympathetic approach towards her subjects and protective nature of them afterwards, she is able to capture a closeness that is not easy for most others to capture.
Not only has Arnold photographed VIPs such as Queen Elizabeth II, Malcolm X, and Joan Crawford, she has traveled extensively around the world, photographing in China, Russia, South Africa, and Afghanistan. In 1980, she had her first solo exhibition which featured her photographic work in China at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City. She also did a series of portraits of American Presidents’ wives.
She currently lives in Britain, where she continues to be an important part of the British photography scene.