Magnum Photos has produced some of the most memorable images of the last century, shaping history and revolutionizing photography's influence on modern culture.
Founded in 1947, Magnum was the first cooperative agency to be established and operated by photographers, thus insuring a creative, editorial, and economic independence previously unknown in the field. Its founders, including renowned photographers Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David "Chim" Seymour, and George Rodger, united in their pursuit of creative freedom and their commitment to sharing their images with the world. Membership in this collective empowered photographers to document conflict and liberation, revolution and reform, and social movements and cultural transformation, while preserving their own powerfully distinct points of view.
Over the last 65 years, Magnum has flourished despite the impact of radical technological, economic, and cultural transformations on publishing and media. This symposium, tracing the evolution of Magnum Photos from print photojournalism to the digital age, explores the ways in which the world's pre-eminent photographic agency has nimbly responded, revealing a global cooperative organization persistently exploring new relationships between photographers, their subjects, and their viewers.
This symposium at the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin brings together photographers, curators, and historians to discuss the ways in which Magnum Photos has continually reinvented itself from the moment of its founding. Twelve Magnum photographers, including Christopher Anderson, Bruno Barbey, Thomas Dworzak, Jim Goldberg, Josef Koudelka, Alex Majoli, Susan Meiselas, Mark Power, Moises Saman, Alec Soth, Chris Steele-Perkins, and Donovan Wylie, as well as Magnum CEO Giorgio Psacharopulo are scheduled to appear in panel discussions with a focus on the cooperative's evolution and future. Panel moderators include Kristen Lubben, Associate Curator at the International Center of Photography, New York; Anne Wilkes Tucker, Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; David Little, Curator of Photography and New Media at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Stuart Alexander, Independent Curator and International Specialist, Photographs, Christie's, New York; and Jessica S. McDonald, Nancy Inman and Marlene Nathan Meyerson Curator of Photography at the Ransom Center.
The symposium keynote address will be delivered on Friday, October 25 by Fred Ritchin, Professor of Photography and Imaging at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and co-director of Pixel Press and the NYU/Magnum Foundation Photography and Human Rights educational program.
The Magnum Photos, Inc. photography collection resides at the Ransom Center courtesy of MSD Capital, Michael and Susan Dell, Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman, and John and Amy Phelan.