I think it’s time again to present one or, to be exact, four of the most important photographers in history and the great photo agency they founded. I’m talking about Magnum Photos, of course.
On 27 April 1947 this agency was founded by the four popular photographers Robert Capa (from Hungary), Henri Cartier-Bresson (from France), David “Chim” Seymour (from the US) and George Rodger (from England) in Paris. War reporter Capa became the first managing director and president of the agency.
The four documentary photographers from four different nations united to promote their work on their own. They wanted to choose their own photographic topics and realize them according to their own wishes in order to sell them to magazines. They planned to share profits among all members. It was important for Magnum not to adhere to a certain photographic style but to give each member enough space for their individuality.
Soon the agency was internationally known for its photo series on human destinies and other critical topics. Even though Magnum in the 1950s and 1960s was facing some crises, such as Robert Capa’s and David Seymour’s deaths, the agency was constantly growing and becoming more and more important.
At the moment Magnum has about 40 members and 16 correspondents with branches in Paris, London, New York and Tokyo.
The agency no longer makes exclusive profits from selling photos to magazines. Nowadays selling books, picture postcards and vintage prints has become as important.
The Magnum website and each member in particular is worth taking a closer look, but check for yourselves: http://www.magnumphotos.com