Inge Morath

Inge Morath

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Inge Morath, the daughter of a scientist, was born in Austria on 27th May 1923. The family moved to Nazi Germany and as a teenager she was sent to the force labour camp at Tempelhof for refusing to join the Hitler Youth.

Morath graduated from Berlin University in 1944. After the Second World War she worked as an interpreter for the United States Information Service before joining the RWR radio network. Morath also contributed articles to the literary magazine Der Optimist.

In 1950 Morath moved to France where she worked with the Austrian photographers Ernst Haas and Erich Lessing. This involved writing text captions for the two photographers. The following year she found work as a photojournalist with Picture Post, a magazine based in London.

Morath's first book was, Fiesta In Pamplona (1954). After the publication of an photo essay on French worker priests by Morath in 1955 Robert Capa invited her to join the Magnum photo agency. Other books by Morath included Venice Observed (1956), Bring Forth The Children (1960), Tunisia (1961) and From Persia to Iran (1961).

Morath married Arthur Miller in 1962 and together they published the bookIn Russia (1969). This was followed by My Sister Life (1973) with poems by Boris Pasternak, In the Country (1977), Chinese Encounters (1979), Salesman in Beijing (1984), Portraits (1987), Shaking the Dust of Ages (1998), an autobiography, Life As A Photographer (1999), Masquerade (2000) and Border Spaces; Last Journey (2002).

Inge Morath died of lymphatic cancer on 30th January 2002.

Inge Morath

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Ancient Akkadian poems and medical texts reveal grief’s universals

is a junior research fellow at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, where she researches and teaches the languages and history of ancient Mesopotamia. She specialises in the history of science and medicine in ancient Mesopotamia, but has written for academic and popular journals, including History Today, on various topics in cuneiform culture.

Edited by Christian Jarrett

Along a dried-up channel of the Euphrates river in modern-day Iraq, broken mud bricks poke out of vast, dusty ruins. They are the remains of Uruk, the birthplace of writing that’s better known in popular culture today as the city once ruled by the legendary king Gilgamesh, the hero of an epic about his struggle with life, love and death. Sometimes called the oldest story in the world, the Epic of Gilgamesh continues to resonate with modern audiences more than 3,000 years after a Babylonian scholar named Sîn-leqi-unninni picked up his reed stylus and, in the tiny tetrahedrons of cuneiform script, impressed a standardised version of the epic on to 12 clay tablets. Written in a literary dialect of the Akkadian language spoken in ancient Mesopotamia, it’s this version that has survived on fragmentary clay copies – some as big as an iPad and others as little as a fingertip – uncovered from sites throughout what is now Iraq, Syria and neighbouring countries.

The story is equal parts hero’s journey and crash course in Mesopotamian cosmology, as Gilgamesh follows the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to their source beyond the known world in search of a survivor of the apocalyptic Flood named Uta-napishti. Fundamentally, it tells of Gilgamesh’s transformation from cruel to kindly king. Central to this is his relationship with Enkidu, a wild man who was sent by the gods to temper Gilgamesh’s tyrannical rule, and who becomes his closest friend and lover. The pair undertake a series of adventures together that culminates in their slaughtering of the Bull of Heaven, a fiery creature plucked from the constellation Taurus. For this act, the gods decide to punish them by taking Enkidu’s life and, in many ways, this is where the epic begins, as Enkidu’s death launches Gilgamesh’s quest for the antediluvian secret to immortality. That quest sees him traverse the mythical landscape of ancient Mesopotamia and the region’s linguistic landscape of emotional distress. Following Gilgamesh’s journey reminds anyone who has ever grieved that they’re not alone – the experience of extreme loss transcends the millennia-long gap between what it meant to be human then and what it means now.

Gilgamesh’s initial reaction to Enkidu’s death is a heart-rending picture of misery. Staring at the fresh body, he screams: ‘Now what sleep has seized you?’ and reaches out to feel for a heartbeat. When he finds nothing, he pulls a veil over Enkidu’s face. He paces back and forth like a lioness who has lost her cubs, he pulls out his hair and tears off his clothes. For seven days and nights, he weeps over Enkidu and refuses to allow him to be taken for burial until a maggot crawls out of the decomposing corpse’s nose. Following an elaborate funeral, he continues to weep bitterly and takes to roaming the wild steppe outside Uruk’s walls. ‘Sorrow has entered my belly,’ he declares. ‘I became afraid of death and go wandering the wild.’ Anyone who has suffered the pain of loss will see themselves in this scene.

Gilgamesh’s grief provides a glimpse of what people did when they felt sad. They wept, they wailed, they wandered, and at some point, they sought help

The initial language of Gilgamesh’s grief tallies with established mourning responses and rituals of the time, including weeping, wailing, tearing at one’s hair and clothes, and separating oneself from civilisation until the process is completed. Gilgamesh’s wandering in particular evokes a motif of distress in ancient Mesopotamia as portrayed in the era’s medical texts. One composed around the same time as Sîn-leqi-unninni’s version of Gilgamesh, the cuneiform Diagnostic Handbook, or Sakikkû as it was known in antiquity, describes over the course of 40 clay tablets ailments as varied as seizures and skin lesions. A depressed state, fever, weeping, nausea and unintelligible speech are described in a fragmentary section of the seventh tablet, together with ‘wandering about regularly’. A much later scholarly exegesis on that section equates ‘wandering about regularly’ with ‘madness’. Gilgamesh’s grief overlaps with the vocabulary of emotional distress in medical texts to provide a glimpse of what people, from legendary kings to anonymous patients, did when they felt sad. They wept, they wailed, they wandered, and at some point, they sought help – typically from a physician in lieu of a distant, primordial man.

Gilgamesh’s wandering not only betrays his inner turmoil but also spurs his quest for the secret to immortal life, inspired partly by his grief and partly by his fear of meeting Enkidu’s fate. Who better to learn this secret from than his antediluvian ancestor, Uta-napishti, who lives beyond the borders of the known world at the mythical ‘mouth of the two rivers’ (Tigris and Euphrates). To get there, Gilgamesh must pass through Mount Mashu, the horizon’s cosmic gates where the sun god rises and sets. Two monstrous half-human, half-scorpion sentinels guard the sun, and Gilgamesh must talk his way past them. The surviving fragments of the epic preserve the last few lines of his speech, a broken reference to his ‘sorrow’ and ‘exhaustion’.

There is no shortage of words in Akkadian that express sorrow. The one used here, nissatu, is the same one used to refer to the wailing that people do in mourning rituals and to a type of severe depression for which people received medical therapies of the time. A long compilation of these various therapies given to improve a patient’s happiness was unearthed in a house in Ashur, a city along the Tigris River that served as the capital of the Assyrian empire for more than 1,000 years. It’s part of a collection of tablets belonging to a medical exorcist named Kisir-Ashur and includes instructions for a herbal treatment ‘so that sorrow may not approach a man’. (The same Akkadian word, nissatu, also finds its way into medical therapies as a drug whose name translates literally to ‘plant for sorrow’, which the early British cuneiformist R Campbell Thompson once provisionally identified with cannabis, given its use on depressed patients.)

Whatever Gilgamesh says about his sorrow and exhaustion convinces the scorpion-people to let him pass into a pitch-black region beyond Mount Mashu that takes exactly 12 hours to traverse. In transcending this region, Gilgamesh exits the limits of the known world and enters a terra incognita in Mesopotamian cosmic geography. He emerges on to a grove of gemstone-studded trees – with carnelian, lapis-lazuli and coral in full bloom – that he walks through to reach the seashore. There, he finds an inn run by a woman named Shiduri who knows the way to Uta-napishti. Upon seeing the tired hero, she reprises Gilgamesh’s own earlier declaration when she asks: ‘Why is there sorrow in your belly?’ In Sîn-leqi-unninni’s version, he replies by asking why, after all he has been through, there shouldn’t be.

The heartsick Gilgamesh and broken-hearted Nabû-tabni-usur use expressions for sorrow and stress that still resonate today

A more ancient version of the epic locates Gilgamesh’s sorrow not in his belly, but in the heart. ‘My heart is sick for my friend,’ he says to the innkeeper, ‘my heart is sick for Enkidu.’ The heart, or libbu in Akkadian, is the organ of thought and emotion that can ponder, plot, talk, and feel. As today, it can also experience a range of orientations and moods when things go wrong. In the early 1950s, a group of Turkish and British archaeologists excavated an Assyrian site known today as Sultantepe that yielded about 400 tablets written by a family of scholar-priests between 718 BCE and 611 BCE . One of the tablets describes a patient whose heart feels frightened, is depressed and ponders foolishness. The treatment is a complex ritual involving, among other things, pouring hot bitumen over figurines of the witches blamed for the illness.

The heart, as we know, can also be broken. In a cuneiform medical tablet from the 7th-century BCE library of the last great Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, a person with a broken heart also feels irritable, looks gloomy and suffers from low libido. A similar medical text from nearby Ashur describes heartbreak with symptoms such as terror and fear, while another adds grief and foolish thoughts, which also originate in the heart. A letter from a physician named Nabû-tabni-usur complains about his stress while serving in the royal court around the time of king Ashurbanipal. ‘While all my associates are happy,’ he writes, ‘I am dying of a broken heart.’ If you were anxious or depressed in ancient Mesopotamia, you were said to suffer from heartbreak. Distilled from the hundreds of thousands of surviving cuneiform texts, the heartsick Gilgamesh and broken-hearted Nabû-tabni-usur use expressions for sorrow and stress that still resonate today. Far from the modern luxuries they are sometimes made out to be, these sorrows and stresses are experiences as ancient as they are human.

Returning to Gilgamesh’s journey, Shiduri the innkeeper eventually relents to his demands and directs the hero to the ‘waters of death’ that he must cross to find Uta-napishti. As Shiduri did earlier, Uta-napishti too notes Gilgamesh’s wild and wretched appearance, like one filled with grief who has wandered far from his city. We can imagine a bearded old man, shaking his head at the young hero before him and asking: ‘Why, Gilgamesh, do you constantly chase sorrow?’ This nissatu has followed Gilgamesh from the start of his journey in Uruk to the world beyond the horizon and, by following his journey, we’re witnessing some of the earliest known expressions of human suffering.

Gilgamesh hopes to receive everlasting life from Uta-napishti but instead the ancestor tells the hero that wandering in search of this unattainable goal is actually shortening his life. For humans, he tells Gilgamesh, the gods established both life, which is fragile, and death, which can strike at any time. ‘No one sees the face of death,’ he reminds Gilgamesh, ‘no one hears the voice of death, and yet furious death is the one who cuts man down.’ Death is inevitable. Eternal life lies not in the survival of Enkidu, Gilgamesh or any other individual, but in the survival of the community.

Although the hero’s search for immortality ultimately proves futile, he gains instead the wisdom to accept that all life must come to an end, and that the best way to preserve Enkidu’s memory, and ultimately his own, is to be a good king who protects the lives of his subjects. He can finally stop mourning and move on. Upon his return to Uruk, Gilgamesh chisels his account into a stone tablet and embeds it into the brickwork of the city walls for someone to find some day.

The last known manuscript of the Epic of Gilgamesh from antiquity was written by an astronomer-in-training named Bel-ahhe-usur in 130 BCE, but Gilgamesh’s memory didn’t die with that tablet’s final tiny wedge. The legendary king would be happy to learn that after thousands of years, he and Enkidu have been resurrected in an enduring story about sorrow, searching and, ultimately, healing. The millennia-old epic reminds us that making sense of grief is as old as the oldest writing in the world, and that a tragic but inescapable part of being human is learning to live without the ones we love.

Museo Diocesano : Inge Morath : Her Life and Photographs

A quite interesting exhibition for a quite interesting photographer, in a particular venue like Milan’s Museo Diocesano. INGE MORATH.La vita. La fotografia(INGE MORATH. Her Life and Photographs) is on stage with 150 original documents and images, that tell of her story, both the human and the professional one. She was the first woman who joined Magnum Photos as a photographer in 1953.

Framed in one of the most ancient monumental complexes in Milan, the exhibition dedicated to Inge Morath (Graz 1923 – New York 2002) redraws her professional and private life, since the beginning alongside Ernst Haas and Henri Cartier-Bresson and her collaboration with magazines like LIFE, Paris Match, Saturday Evening Post and Vogue.

The show presents her travel reportages, that she used to plan with the greatest (and almost maniacal) care, studying the language and the culture of each region she was going to, like an ethnographer. By the way, Morath studied languages in Berlin and became a translator, then a journalist. All her life, Morath remained a diarist, with a dual gift: for pictures and words as well.

On stage, some of her most well-known reportages, like the one on Venice (1953), when she portrayed people in their everyday dimension, according to the photographic tradition of Magnum photos Morath wrote: “Photography is essentially a personal matter: the search for an inner truth”. Inge Morath’s itinerary continues to Spain. She visited this country many times: she had been there since 1954, when she was commissioned to reproduce some paintings for the French art magazine L’Œil and to portray Pablo Picasso’s sister, Lola. Then there are sections on her works dealing with some of the Communist countries, and Austria, The United Kingdom and Paris. Inge Morath had the dream of travelling to Russia: in her first journey to the country, in 1965, she was with her husband, Arthur Miller, the then president of the PEN club, a worldwide association of writers. They managed to meet Russian artists and intellectuals and an extensive photographic work stemmed from that voyage. Other sections of the exhibition include her reportages in Iran and New York as well as the portraits she shot throughout her career. Some of her most important work consists of portraits, of passers-by as well as celebrities, like Igor Stravinsky, Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso, Jean Arp or Audrey Hepburn. In any case, she was interested into who they were as a human being. Her photographic style has its roots in the humanistic ideals resulting from the Second World War as well as in the photograph of the decisive moment, as Cartier-Bresson called it.

The exhibition, curated by Brigitte Blüml – Kaindl, Kurt Kaindl and Marco Minuz, is accompanied by a publication published by Silvana Editoriale and is part of the Milano PhotoFestival 15TH, the annual event that gathers some 140 exhibitions within Milan and some nearby towns, and of the cultural programs Aria di Cultura and I talenti delle donne, coordinated by Comune di Milano.

Paola Sammartano

Paola Sammartano is a journalist, specialized in arts and photography, based in Milan

Inge Morath Austrian Photographer

Inge Morath was previously married to Arthur Miller (1962 - 2002) and Jack Ernest Lionel Birch (1951 - 1954) .


Austrian Photographer Inge Morath was born Ingeborg Hermine Morath on 27th May, 1923 in Graz, Austria and passed away on 30th Jan 2002 New York City, New York, USA aged 78. She is most remembered for Love, Marilyn (2012). Her zodiac sign is Gemini.

Inge Morath is a member of the following lists: 1923 births, 2002 deaths and Women photographers.


Help us build our profile of Inge Morath! Login to add information, pictures and relationships, join in discussions and get credit for your contributions.

Relationship Statistics

Married2 41 years, 6 months 22 years 2 years, 7 months
Total2 41 years, 6 months 22 years 2 years, 7 months


First Name Inge
Last Name Morath
Maiden Name Morath
Full Name at Birth Ingeborg Hermine Morath
Alternative Name Inge Morath, Ingeborg Morath, Ingeborg Hermine Morath
Age 78 (age at death) years
Birthday 27th May, 1923
Birthplace Graz, Austria
Died 30th January, 2002
Place of Death New York City, New York, USA
Cause of Death (cancer)
Zodiac Sign Gemini
Sexuality Straight
Ethnicity White
Nationality Austrian
Occupation Text Austrian-born American photographer
Occupation Photographer
Claim to Fame Love, Marilyn (2012)

Ingeborg Hermine Morath (listen  May 27, 1923 – January 30, 2002) was an Austrian-born American photographer. In 1953, she joined the Magnum Photos Agency, founded by top photographers in Paris, and became a full photographer with the agency in 1955. Morath was also the third wife of playwright Arthur Miller their daughter is screenwriter/director Rebecca Miller.

Dancing Queens: Lost Images from a Grand Ball

I n the winter of 1955, Parisian high society buzzed in anticipation of a dance on ice to be performed by members of the royal houses of Europe. Inge Morath, 32 at the time, and a newly minted member of the Magnum photo agency, was assigned to cover the charity event, going behind the scenes to document the glamorous participants as they rehearsed for the gala evening. She shot 14 rolls in total, and the material was processed and distributed through the Magnum network, but never found its way into print.

In those days, the agency routinely distributed material shot on spec to a roster of sub-agents and publications, with the understanding that the prints would be returned. In many cases, that never happened the prints remained in far-away files or gathered dust on the shelves of the recipients. Now, in an effort to reclaim the work, the Magnum Foundation, in partnership with the art magazine Esopus, has initiated a project to seek out that lost material and other works made by its photographers that never found its way into public view. Called “Analog Recovery,” the project is being edited by John Jacob, who is also the director of Morath’s estate. The goal, Jacob says, is to reintroduce a portfolio by a Magnum photographer twice a year. Morath’s Bal d’Hiver, is the first in the series.

Jacob had come across the Bal d’Hiver photos while doing research for another project about Magnum and the world of fashion. To assemble the piece, he used the marks that Morath herself had left on the contact sheets. “She really knew what she was doing with her editing,” he says. “I rarely needed to go beyond what she had selected.” How fitting, then, for the Esopus magazine feature on the photos to honor her astute eye&mdashthe issue includes a detachable reproduction of one of the 14 contact sheets, with Morath’s marks still visible.

Inge Morath Photographs and Papers

Photographic material in the collection includes contact sheets, color slides, and photographic prints.

Morath's documentary photographs depict people and events in a wide range of countries, including Austria, China, England, France, Germany, India, Italy, Romania, Russia, Spain, and Tunisia, as well as throughout Mexico and the United States.

The collection includes portrait studies of public figures, including Yul Brynner, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Dustin Hoffman, Henry Moore, Anaïs Nin, Pablo Picasso, Andrei Voznesensky, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko. It also includes projects with her longtime collaborator, artist Saul Steinberg.

Papers in the collection include story lists, captions, notebooks, general files, and publicity related chiefly to her photography. The collection also includes audiovisual material, electronic files, and artifacts.

A group of printed material accompanies the collection and consists of an incomplete set of her monographs, as well as works related to travel, languages, and other subjects.

The collection also chronicles Morath's personal life, including her marriage and family with playwright Arthur Miller, and provides ancillary documentation of his work.

In this guide to the collection, library staff chiefly retained Morath's titles and spellings, while contact sheets include authorized forms of names derived from her story lists.

Chronological arrangements within the collection reflect the image creation date, not the date the photograph was printed. Notes throughout the collection include Morath's "story numbers," when easily discerned by library staff.

Series I, Photographs, includes the bulk of photographic material created by Morath and her personal and family photographs, as well as photographs she collected by other photographers.

Series II, Papers, consists of papers that document the life and work of Morath, including story captions, notebooks, correspondence, clippings, financial records, and awards.

Series III, Photographs and Papers from the Morath-Miller Home, consists of material in the home of Morath and Arthur Miller in Roxbury, Connecticut, immediately before the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library acquired the material in 2014. It includes personal and family photographs, correspondence, writings and travel notebooks, address books, visiting cards, exhibition catalogs, publicity material, art, and ephemera.

Series IV, Audio Visual Material, consists of sound recordings, videocassettes, and films by or about Morath, and includes interviews with her and documentation of her exhibitions.

Series V, Electronic Files, chiefly consists of the electronic files created by Morath, as well as by the Inge Morath Foundation, including image files and backup files, as well as operating system and utility program files used by her.

Series VI, Objects, consists of the items Morath used as a photographer, including a camera, film canisters, and rubber ink stamps used to mark her prints, as well as other personal effects, including scarves and a suitcase.

The materials are open for research.

Boxes 717-719, 722-723 (audiovisual materials): Restricted Fragile Material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Boxes 725-732 (electronic files): Restricted Fragile Material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

The Inge Morath Photographs and Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University. Ms. Rebecca Miller, her heirs and assigns retain all commercial rights in photographs and writings by Morath. Literary rights, including copyright, of others belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library has the limited right to authorize scholars to reproduce up to five of Ms. Morath’s images in a scholarly publication.

Any exhibition or reproduction of contact sheets or work prints by Ms. Morath requires their identification as contact sheets or work prints.

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library will not reproduce for any purpose photographs or images identified as "Family Photographs" in boxes 509-539, 612, and 701-703.

Photographs by Ms. Morath from the "Mask series" of photographs share copyright with the Saul Steinberg Foundation, and any use thereof requires the approval of the Saul Steinberg Foundation.


The late playwright Arthur Miller, speaking of his wife Inge Morath, said “She made poetry out of people and their places over half a century.” This month, Prestel Publishing and Magnum Foundation are releasing “Inge Morath, An illustrated biography”, written by Linda Gordon, professor of history at New York University. The author presents Morath traveling across the globe, often as a woman alone, quietly but firmly defying the conventions for what was appropriate for women at the time. Her photographs show her cosmopolitanism, which arose from her love of literature, her fluency in many languages, and her revulsion against Hitler’s Germany, where she spent her teenage years. Her respect for all the world’s cultures, from Spain to Iran to China, made her a kind of visual ethnographer.

One of the first women to join the Magnum collective, Morath was a superb portraitist, particularly drawn to artists, such as painter Saul Steinberg, sculptor Louise Bourgeois, and writer Boris Pasternak. She worked mainly in black-and-white but also used color film exquisitely, even early in her career. Through Magnum assignments to document film sets she met Arthur Miller and their subsequent marriage lasted for forty years. Despite a variety of subject matter, Morath’s work is unified by an intimacy and comfort with the world’s many cultures. Truly a citizen of the world, her images are simultaneously universal and personal. In the following interview, photography author and historian Carole Naggar, director of the Magnum Legacy book series, discusses her oeuvre.

The biography of Inge Morath published by Prestel is extensive, with an important number of images and contact sheets alongside the text. What can you tell about the process of its making?

This has been a long and complex process, working with the Magnum Foundation (Susan Meiselas and especially Kristen Lubben for this volume), the publisher, the writer, Linda Gordon, Tessa Hite, who assisted me in researching at the Beinecke Library where Inge Morath’s archives are kept, and Rebecca Miller, Inge Morath’s daughter who also supplied a number of letters, documents and photographs. I also worked on Inge Morath’s black and white contact sheets at Magnum New York’s office and found several images that had never been published, such as a portrait of Cartier-Bresson during the trip that he took with Inge in Europe in 1953, photographs of Inge’s mother and her twin sister, or an image of the church where her grandparents married, that she photographed when she made a trip to Austria and Eastern Europe in search of her origins, following the course of the Danube river.

Tessa Hite used her research at the Beinecke to write a text on Inge’s archive and an extensive illustrated biography, which together complement Linda Gordon’s text.

The writer, Linda Gordon, who is known for her biography of Dorothea Lange and her book on the return of the KKK, was a very active participant and suggested images that would work with her text. We had numerous in-depth discussions about her text, about Magnum and about photography in general, and she met with a number of witnesses – family, colleagues and friends – to Inge’s life. The managing editor Andrew Lewin also helped with numerous aspects of the book.

Making a book, especially one as complex as that with hundreds of extensive notes, is a team effort. It is a bit like a puzzle, balancing text, photographs and documents and finding a sequence which allows back and forth between the components. Finally, the designer, Greg Wakabayashi, tied the book together with his refined, understated layout that gives equal play to text and images.

How would you qualify Inge Morath photography?

Inge Morath’s photography resists definition. It is fresh in approach, classic in composition and versatile. She is equally at ease with reportage, fashion and portrait and also has a sense of whimsy, as is obvious in her series on Saul Steinberg’s masks or her famous image of a lama in Times Square. Her empathy, and perhaps her difficult past in Nazi Germany, allowed her to communicate with just about anyone, from the street children of Ireland or Rumania or a camp in Gaza to the most famous artists or writers such as Henry Moore, Jean Arp, Louise Bourgeois, Norman Mailer and a score of others. She could blend in any country and situation and was very brave, a world traveler who for instance went to Iran in 1956, a woman alone. She was one of the first photographers to work in color and her color photographs of London, Ireland and Spain, as well as her Iranian desert landscapes, are beautiful.

Where would you put her in the history of the medium?

Morath’s contribution to the history of the medium has been important and largely unrecognized. Even even though a number of books have been published about her (In particular thanks to the efforts of John Jacobs, who was also instrumental in formulating the concept for this series), it is the first time that all aspects of her life and career are presented together in one book.

Together with Eve Arnold, Morath was the first woman to enter Magnum Photos “boys club”. In the early 1950s. She did not define herself as a feminist, but during her life constantly encouraged women photographers. The Inge Morath Award was created in her honor by her colleagues at Magnum Photos and recently a group of women photographers followed her trajectory along the Danube, creating new images of places she had visited.

I think that her most important contribution to the history of the medium is her capacity to create not only striking individual images but in-depth stories, a preoccupation that many contemporary photographers now share. This is what differentiates her from Cartier-Bresson whom she acknowledged as a mentor, and makes her thoroughly modern.

How would you describe the Magnum Legacy series of books? What it the intent with this series?

The Magnum Legacy series is co-published by the Magnum Foundation and Prestel. So far we have published volumes on Eve Arnold, Bruce Davidson and Inge Morath. The idea is not to produce a “classic” photobook with a portfolio of images nor a classic biography, but to tell a story, that of the life behind the pictures. What motivated them? Who influenced them? How do events in their life link to their images? To tell that story we rely heavily on archive. In Inge’s case this archive is especially rich, because she was a gifted writer as well as a photographer, and Tessa Hite and I found a number of letters, diaries, fragments of autobiographies, as well as family pictures, contact sheets, passports, press cards…Inge Morath did not censor her life and was very open about her relationships. She spoke eight languages. Before she went to a country such as Russia or China for instance, she immersed herself in that country’s culture, history and language: We found her exercise notebooks in Chinese, she learnt Russian with a tutor….

Could you tell us about forthcoming publications?

For now, we are planning on a volume on Josef Koudelka, with a text by Melissa Harris, who has been working on her text for the last two years. The publication is planned for 2020.

'Fall' Examines Playwright Arthur Miller's Secret Son

Playwright Arthur Miller was a giant of American theater and a champion of social justice. On stage, his iconic plays Death of a Salesman and All My Sons portrayed the American family with tight bonds and searing discord. Much of the tension he wrote about was between fathers and sons.

As it turns out, Arthur Miller was wracked by family turmoil of his own: He had a son with Down syndrome, and he and his wife kept the boy's existence a secret. That story is now a play, called Fall, that's having its world premiere at Boston's Huntington Theatre.

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Documenting The Offstage Life Of Playwright Arthur Miller (AKA Dad)

Fall begins in 1966 Arthur Miller is the toast of high society, he's married to photographer Inge Morath and they're living with their little girl in a rambling home in Connecticut when Morath gives birth to their son Daniel. 27-year-old Nolan James Tierce plays Daniel — and like Daniel, Tierce himself has Down syndrome.

"My name is Daniel Miller," he says in the play. "Everyone calls me Danny. I'm a Yankees fan. I know every lyric to every Beatles song. I have Down syndrome."

Miller never got to know those aspects of his son. In the play, a doctor advises Miller and Morath to put Daniel in an institution. At first, Morath cajoles her husband to ignore doctor's advice and raise their son at home — "He's your son and my son!" she implores him. But instead, they find an institution close to their home.

In the play and in real life, Morath visited Daniel in the institution. Miller did not. (Years later, the institution — the Southbury Training School in central Connecticut — was cited for dangerous living conditions.) Vanity Fair magazine revealed the story of Arthur Miller's secret son in 2007 both Miller and Morath had died by then.

You can't say their motives were evil or anything like that. They did what they felt they had to do. And to demonize him would diminish the play.

Playwright Bernard Weinraub

Bernard Weinraub wrote Fall, and he says it was important to him to not demonize the couple. "You can't say their motives were evil or anything like that. They did what they felt they had to do. And to demonize him would diminish the play, because I think you have to understand and try to get to the complexity of motives and marriage and what happened between them."

Weinraub based parts of the script on interviews he did with social workers at the institution. When he told Huntington Theatre Artistic Director Peter DuBois about the play, DuBois was enthusiastic. "I thought this is an incredibly important story to tell," he says. "This was someone who lectured us on right and wrong. And I felt this real deep passion about telling this story of human fallibility."

But when DuBois tried to partner with other theaters on the production, there were no takers. "There have been a lot of people that have said, 'I don't want to be the one to be launching this narrative in the theater' — that, you know, Arthur is too respected a writer." As it happened, Arthur Miller never wrote another masterpiece after Daniel was born.

Actor Nolan James Tierce plays Daniel Miller he has Down syndrome just like the character. T. Charles Erickson hide caption

Actor Nolan James Tierce plays Daniel Miller he has Down syndrome just like the character.

The real Daniel Miller is now 51 years old, thriving, and living with a foster family in Connecticut. Actor Nolan James Tierce has never met Daniel, but considers him an idol — in part for surviving in a now-notorious facility. And Tierce is well aware of that period in America, when it was common to house children with disabilities in institutions. "That history was, actually, at that time, barbaric. I feel so bad for those people who've been institutionalized for many years like Daniel," he says. And, he adds, he feels for Miller and Morath, "because of they didn't really get to know Daniel that well, except for Inge. She was there at the sidelines, and Arthur just completely shunned him out of his life . It is their loss — and a tragedy."

DuBois says he's proud to direct the world premiere of the play about Arthur Miller. "But I won't beat around the bush, I mean, I think this is about a hero who falls . I think he took a huge fall in his life when he decided not to make Daniel a part of it . I feel like he would have found something in his relationship with Daniel that I think would have affected his writing — in a good way."

The playwright and his son did meet, when Daniel was grown. And when Miller died, he left Daniel and his three other children equal portions of his estate.

This story was edited by Andrea de Leon, produced for radio by Andrea Hsu and Chad Campbell, and adapted for the Web by Petra Mayer.

Watch the video: Danube Revisited -- The Inge Morath Truck Project (May 2022).