Eve ARNOLD was born in Philadelphia to Russian parents. Arnold began making photographs in 1946 while working at a photo-finishing plant in New York City, before studying photography in 1948 with Alexei Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research in New York. Arnold first became associated with Magnum Photos in 1951 and became its first female member in 1957. Although she has gained fame for her authentic portraits of celebrities–including Marylin Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Malcom X, amongst others–Arnold has also documented the people and places of the everyday. Based in the US during the 1950s, Arnold went to England in 1962 where she lived for the rest of her life. Arnold spent a lot of her time travelling to Afghanistan, Cuba, China and Mongolia, where she produced a series of colour photographs of young women being inducted into the cavalry of their national militia. In her sixties, she produced her first photographic monograph, the Unretouched Woman (1976). She stated then: ‘This is a book about how it feels to be a woman, seen through the eyes and the camera of one woman–images unretouched, for the most part un-posed, and unembellished.’
Arnold exhibited in the landmark exhibition ‘Family of Men’ (1955) curated by Ed Steichen at the MoMA, NY, which then travelled the world. Arnold had a major solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in 1980, where she showed the images produced during her time in China. In the same year, she received the National Book Award for ‘In China’ and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Magazine Photographers. Another major retrospective of her work was held at the Barbican in London in 1996. Her work is held in international private and public collections.