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Inge Morath: Paris, 1957

Inge Morath: Paris, 1957

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A primary focus of the IM Foundation has been to showcase stories and images that offer us an in depth look into Inge Morath’s photographic career. During the 1950’s, Inge worked on many stories that were commissioned by magazines and publications. She used each as an opportunity to build upon her extensive personal work when she travelled and completed these assignments.

Inge Morath: Paris, 1957 presents a selection of some of these photographs from her archive. One of her extensive essays, consisting of more than 50 contact sheets, was initially commissioned by French magazine“L’Oeil.” It is unknown if it was actually published. In this small selection of 25 images, we hope to highlight Inge’s exploratory nature and her curiosity to understand the unique city of Paris.

This selection of images consists scans from both Inge’s original contact sheets and her vintage prints. We can see Inge capturing details and scenes that are simple but also offer an informative view into this prominent European city. She carefully examines and explores the city, with its grand, intricate buildings. Her clever but beautifully composed photos of Parisians with their surroundings create a mood that is both playful and quaint. Her images are not a travelogue, but offer her own personal perspective of a city she is familiar with. This feeling of familiarity allows the viewer to travel back or exist in those moments, even today.

Inge also documents the daily life of Parisians, young and old. Her interest in architecture of Paris gives a grand voice to the inanimate. The intentional play between these historical structures and the people is undeniable. She wants to represent Paris as an individual, alive with history, beauty, and quirkiness. A city famously known to be one the most romantic in Europe has here also been translated into a one that is rich and vibrant with culture, arts, and nostalgia.

– Sana Manzoor

A Llama in Times Square (1957)

A Llama in Times Square (1957)

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Like many of the iconic images for which she is recognized, Inge Morath’s A Llama in Times Square originated in a magazine assignment. In its December 2, 1957 issue, LIFE magazine published a one-page story, in its humorous Animals section, entitled High-paid llama in big city. The story was about a menagerie of television animals—including, in addition to the llama, large and small dogs, cats, birds, a pig, a kangaroo, and a miniature bull—living at home with their trainers in a Manhattan brownstone.

The story in LIFE featured three photographs by Morath, including a cropped close-up of Linda the Llama. Curiously, the caption accompanying the closeup describes the llama as ogling from the window of a taxi on her way to make a television appearance. In fact, she was in the back seat of her trainer’s car, and, as Morath explains, on her way home from the studio when the picture was taken. Morath’s full caption reads, “Linda, the Lama (sic) rides home via Broadway. She is just coming home from a television show in New York’s A.B.C. studios and now takes a relaxed and long-necked look at the lights of one of the world’s most famous streets.” In Morath’s work chronology, her contact sheets for the story are marked “57-1,” indicating that this was her first assignment in the year 1957. On the back of a vintage work print of the iconic picture, Morath has inscribed the caption, “57-1.That’s when that was—driving around with Linda the Llama.” Continue reading A Llama in Times Square (1957)

The Road to Reno (1960)

Inge Morath: The Road to Reno

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Introduction by Arthur Miller

Frank Taylor, who was an old friend of mine, and who I inveigled into being the producer [of The Misfits], thought it would be a great idea to get Magnum to send over as many people as they could to photograph it. I didn’t know any photographers and I had no opinion about it; it was the last thing in the world I was worried about. Henri [Cartier-Bresson] and Inge decided to do a motor trip across the country [on their way to the set in Reno]. Both of them were Europeans, of course, and they thought that, driving across the country, they would run into all kinds of wonderful, different cooking experiences as they would in Europe. When confronted the inevitable hamburger everywhere, they were driven back to eating carrots and apples and tea.

The ’60s in America, of course, was the despair and the secret hope of a lot of European intellectuals. The freedom, the local inventiveness, the friendliness, charmed them. And Inge, I know, was pleasantly surprised by how dear the people were. Of course, most people were to her; she was very affectionate toward people, and they reacted in a similar way. However, it was a difficult trip because she couldn’t eat meat and Henri liked more delicate cooking. So they were driven half mad by the carrots and the apples and the tea. And they arrived in Reno half-starved and ready to go to work. Continue reading The Road to Reno (1960)