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Agenda: Buying a Piece of Magnum's "Great Journeys"

By David Schonauer   Tuesday October 31, 2017


Your holiday shopping starts now.

On the occasion of Magnum’s 70th anniversary and Aperture Foundation's 65th, the two organizations have joined forces to present “Great Journeys,” the final in the cycle of four Square Print Sales inspired by each of Magnum’s founders. The sale, which continues online through 6 pm EST on November 3, features signed or estate-stamped, 6x6-inch museum-quality prints for $100.

And that, declares collector W.E. Hunt, represents both a bargain and an opportunity for admirers of photography. “In the same manner that Visual AIDS has organized its ‘Postcards from the Edge’ benefits for almost 20 years, this is a simple idea of making good art available inexpensively for a good cause,” he writes at L’Oeil de la Photographie.

For the first time, Magnum Photos has also invited a roster of artists published by Aperture to participate, marking the long and diverse shared history of these two organizations, adds the British Journal of Photography.

The sale includes iconic images like Harry Gruyaert’s “Niger River, Mali, 1988” (at top); Dennis Stock’s 1955 photo of James Dean in Times Square 1955; George Rodger’s 1949 photo “The Nubas, Kordofan, Sudan, 1949”; Mary Ellen Mark’s “Ram Prakash Singh with his elephant Shyama. Great Golden Circus, Ahmedabad, 1990”; and Bruce Davidson’s “Wales, United Kingdom. 1965.”

The Nubas. Kordofan, Sudan. 1949, George Rodgers


James Dean, Times Square, 1955, Dennis Stock

Ram Prakash Singh with his elephant Shyama, Great Golden Circus, Ahmedabad, 1990, Mary Ellen Mark

Wales, United Kingdom, 1965, Bruce Davidson


“Journeys, both literal and metaphorical, have been a defining element of the work of Magnum photographers’ since the agency’s inception,” notes BJP, which features the stories behind a number of the images in the sale as told by Alessandra Sanguinetti, Cornell Capa, and Susan Meiselas, and other photographers, including Moises Saman, who recalls taking his photo “Baghdad, Iraq. July, 2004.”

Baghdad, Iraq. July, 2004, Moises Saman

“Iraq has come to represent quite a personal journey in my life,” Saman notes. “The war there has defined me and my generation, and as such I find myself returning year after year. For me, a journey is not just the act of traveling, it’s also, and perhaps more importantly, about surrendering any preconceived notions or prejudices, and accepting that which is outside of your control.

“I took this photograph in 2004, in the aftermath of the American invasion. I remember sharing the same false sense of optimism that was obvious only on the surface. I did not know it back then, but the beginning of my real journey in Iraq had not yet begun.”

Meanwhile, the AnOther  blog looks at Magnum photographer Eli Reed’s iconic 1995 photo of the Million Man March in Washington, D.C.

The Million Man March, Washington D.C., 1995, Eli Reed

“Reed offers a singular viewpoint of the 1995 march, from behind three men who are looking out across the gargantuan crowd extending before them, the Washington Monument standing tall on the horizon in the distance,” notes AnOther. “The viewpoint from a height serves to emphasise both the sheer scale of the gathering and the prescient sense of action and anticipation that the march inspired.”

 “They came by airplane, bus, train, car, and foot; it was a call to the world at large that action had to be made to make our shared world a better place,” explains Reed. “They came to heal the negativity that continues to separate us.”

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