Magnum Photos Launches 70th Anniversary Program

Magnum Photos

Elliott Erwitt, USA. New York. 1955 © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos

Historic photo agency Magnum Photos is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year with a series of programs around the world. The launch exhibition will focus on the early years of the agency, 1947-1960, in New York City, where it was founded by pioneering photographers Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and David Seymour.

The exhibition, “Early Magnum: On & In New York” will be held at the The National Arts Club in New York, March 27-April 29, 2017. It will showcase iconic photographs from the 1950s by Magnum members such as Bruce Davidson, Elliott Erwitt and others, as well as archival works from Magnum’s New York office.

Magnum Photos
Photo By Werner Bischof, USA. New York. 1953. Magnum Photos office, 64th Street. (From left to right) Ellen Erwitt, Lucienne Erwitt, Elliott Erwitt, Olga Brodsky, Sheernah, (unknown). © Werner Bischof/Magnum Photos

All of the works from the exhibition are available for purchase at The National Arts Club or online beginning March 30, and range in price from $1,500 to $8,000.

Get the details and more information about the Magnum Photos 70th Anniversary Program in the press release below:


Exhibition at The National Arts Club, New York 
27th March – 29th April 2017

And online and

Magnum Photos launches its 70th-anniversary program in New York City in tandem with this year’s AIPAD fair with an exhibition of photographs taken during the early years of the agency in the city in 1947-60. The show combines classic images taken in the 1950s by Magnum members such as Bruce Davidson, Elliott Erwitt, Erich Hartmann and Dennis Stock along with archival pictures from the agency’s New York office. This exhibition portrays the workings of the organization and its community of enterprising members in dialogue with the city that has been Magnum Photos’ U.S. home and a source of inspiration since its founding in 1947.

As the legend goes, Magnum Photos was founded over a magnum of champagne at the Museum of Modern Art by Robert Capa and took its name from that particularly generously-sized bottle. Opening a bureau in both Paris and New York in 1947, the New York office at 55 West 8th Street was first run by Rita Vandivert, wife of photographer William Vandivert. Empty Magnum bottles serve as a reminder of Capa’s favourite drink and particular brand of joie du vivre. One sits on a shelf where a young Elliott Erwitt and his first wife sit with their baby daughter, in a candid shot early of the agency office by Werner Bischof.

The agency fizzed with pioneer spirit, its independence reshaping the relationship between magazines and photographers reclaiming copyright for the latter’s benefit. Its membership grew in size to match its founders’ ambitions – incorporating as full members Arnold, Cornell Capa, Erwitt, Glinn, Hartmann and Stock in 1954, Morath in 1955, Miller and Davidson in 1958, and Burri in 1959, amongst others over the course of that decade.

Included in the exhibit are Estate stamped prints and signed contemporary prints of some of Magnum’s best-known images of the city and its inhabitants:  Davidson’s intimate portraits of the youthful, self-possessed members of a Brooklyn Gang, Stock’s iconic image of James Dean in Times Square, Erwitt’s image of his wife and first child, and Arnold’s Harlem Fashion show.

It is fitting that in its 70th year, Magnum Photos continues to explore new ways of working. With over 3.7 million unique followers on social media, it has grown to be a significant online photography brand, its newly launched website providing a space for unique editorial content to be presented and for a growing community to engage with its activity.

All works from Magnum In and On New York are available for purchase from the exhibition either at The National Arts Club or online from 30th March. Prices range from $1,500 to $8,000.

Notes for Editors:

Magnum Photos is an artist’s cooperative of great diversity and distinction, owned by its photographer members. Magnum Photos represents some of the world’s most renowned photographers, maintaining its founding ideals and idiosyncratic mix of journalist, artist and storyteller.

Magnum Photos 70th Anniversary will be celebrated with a global programme of events throughout 2017, including an official anniversary exhibition ‘Magnum Manifesto’ launching at the International Centre of Photography accompanied by the book published by Thames & Hudson.

Download here press release of Magnum Photos 70th Anniversary Program

Visit, or to follow our celebrations, search #MagnumPhotos70

The National Arts Club has a long history of supporting photography beginning in 1902 when it hosted Alfred Stieglitz and his group of Photo-Secessionists for an exhibition of their work. The show, organized by Stieglitz, is considered the first photography exhibit in American to present photography as an art form. has honored three of Magnum’s early members with its highest honor, the Gold Medal for Photography: Inge Morath, 2000; Elliott Erwitt, 2002; and Bruce Davidson in 2007.

The National Arts Club, Grand Gallery

15 Gramercy Park South, New York, NY 10003

Opening times: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm

For weekend hours call: 212 475 3424

Media contact

For media enquiries, including interview opportunities with David Kogan, Executive Director, and Magnum photographers, please contact Myrtille Beauvert – +1 347 295 7694 – [email protected]

Copyright © 2017 Myrtille Beauvert, All rights reserved.

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