In celebration of Inge Morath’s upcoming centennial in May, 2023, Versicherungskammer Kulturstiftung’s Kunstfoyer, ºCLAIRbyKahn and the Inge Morath Estate present a retrospective exhibition of Magnum Photos photographer Inge Morath (1923-2002).
“Inge Morath – Hommage” showcases 167 images from Inge’s prolific career, featuring her iconic images as well as portraits of celebrities, artists, and literary figures.
Watch an editorial contribution, aired in CAPRICCIO, Bayerischer Rundfunk, January 19, 2023 by Angelika Kellhammer, Cinematography: Robin Worms, Editing: Andreas Spitz.
some installation views of THE EXHIBITION
A SELECTION OF WORKS FEATURED IN THE EXHIBITION
Download the press release here.
Photography is a strange phenomenon. In spite of the use of that technical instrument, the camera, no two photographers, even if they were at the same place at the same time, come back with the same pictures. The personal vision is usually there from the beginning; result of a special chemistry of background and feelings, traditions and their rejection, of sensibility and voyeurism. You trust your eye and you cannot help but bear your soul. One’s vision finds of necessity the form suitable to express it.
-Inge Morath (Inge Morath: Life as a Photographer, Kehayoff Verlag, 1999)
Inge Morath (1923–2002) was born in Graz, Austria. Her parents were scientists whose work took them to different laboratories and universities in Europe during her childhood. Educated in French-speaking schools, Morath and her family relocated to Darmstadt in the 1930s, and then to Berlin.
Morath’s first encounter with avant-garde art was at the Entartete Kunst (“Degenerate Art”) exhibition organized by the Nazi party in 1937, which sought to inflame public opinion against modern art. “I found a number of these paintings exciting and fell in love with Franz Marc’s Blue Horse,” Morath later wrote. “Only negative comments were allowed, and thus began a long period of keeping silent and concealing thoughts.”
After the Second World War, Morath worked as a translator and journalist. In 1948, she was hired by Warren Trabant for Heute, an illustrated magazine published by the US Information Agency in Munich. Morath had encountered photographer Ernst Haas in Vienna and brought his work to Trabant’s attention. Working together for Heute, Morath wrote articles to accompany Haas’ pictures. In 1949, Morath and Haas were invited by Robert Capa to join the newly-founded Magnum Photos in Paris, where she would work as an editor. Working with contact sheets by founding member Henri Cartier-Bresson fascinated Morath. She wrote, “I think that in studying his way of photographing I learned how to photograph myself before I ever took a camera into my hand.”
Morath was briefly married to the British journalist Lionel Birch and relocated to London in 1951. That same year, she began to photograph during a visit to Venice. “It was instantly clear to me that from now on I would be a photographer”, she wrote. “As I continued to photograph I became quite joyous. I knew that I could express the things I wanted to say by giving them form through my eyes.” Morath divorced Birch and returned to Paris to pursue a career in photography.
In 1955 she was invited to become a full member of Magnum Photos. During the late 1950s, she travelled widely, covering stories in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the United States, and South America for such publications as Holiday, Paris Match, and Vogue. She published Guerre à la Tristesse, photographs of Spain, with Robert Delpire in 1955, followed by De la Perse à l’Iran, photographs of Iran, in 1958.
Like many Magnum members, Morath worked as a still photographer on numerous motion picture sets. Having met director John Huston while she was living in London, Morath worked on several of his films. In 1960 she was on the set of The Misfits, a blockbuster film featuring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Montgomery Clift, with a screenplay by Arthur Miller. Morath met Miller while working on The Misfits, and—following Miller’s divorce from Monroe—they were married on February 17, 1962.
Morath’s achievements during her first decade of work as a photographer are significant. Along with Eve Arnold, she was among the first women members of Magnum Photos, which remains to this day a predominantly male organization. Many critics have written of the element of playful surrealism that characterizes Morath’s work from this period. It was motivated by a fundamental humanism, shaped as much by the experience of war as by its lingering shadow over post-war Europe. This motivation grows, in Morath’s mature work, into a motif as she documents the endurance of the human spirit under situations of extreme duress as well as its manifestations of ecstasy and joy.
Ingeborg Morath Miller died of cancer in 2002, at the age of 78. In honour of their colleague, the members of Magnum Photos established the Inge Morath Award in 2002. The Award is administered by the Inge Morath Foundation in cooperation with the Magnum Foundation, New York. The Inge Morath Foundation was established by Morath’s family, in 2003, to preserve and share her legacy.
2021 Picturing People, The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
2021 New Perspectives. Acquisitions 2011–2020, The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
2020 Inge Morath. La vita. La fotografia, Museo Diocesano, Milan
2019 Inge Morath. La vita. La fotografia, Museo di Roma in Trastevere, Rome
2020 As They See Us: A Portrait of Russia, Manege Central Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg
2012 View York – Nine Perceptions, KSH, Freiburg
2011 View York – Nine Perceptions, DAI, Tübingen
2011 View York – Nine Perceptions, CLAIRbyKahn, Munich
2010 First Colors, Magnum Gallery, Paris; CLAIRbyKahn, Munich
2008 Well Disposed and Trying to See: Inge Morath and Arthur Miller in China, University of Michigan Art Museum, Ann Arbor
2005 The Road to Reno, Pingyao International Photography Festival, Pingyao
2004 Chinese Encounters: Photographs by Inge Morath, Pingyao International Photography Festival, Pingyao
2003 Inge Morath, Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, Paris
2003 The Danube, City Gallery of Ruse, Ruse
2002 New York, Galerie Fotohof, Salzburg; Europäische Wochen, Passau; ESWE Forum, Wiesbaden; Esther Woerdehoff, Paris; Amerikahaus, Tübingen
1999 Inge Morath, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna
1999 Spain in the Fifties, Museo del Cabilde, Montevideo
1998 The Danube, Festival of Central European Culture, London, UK; Museen d. Stadt Regensburg
1998 Retrospective, Edinburgh Festival, Edinburgh, UK; Museum of Photography in Charleroi; Municipal Gallery, Pamplona
1998 Celebrating 75 Years, Leica Gallery, New York
1997 Retrospective, Kunsthal, Rotterdam
1997 The Danube, Keczkemet Museum, Esztergom Museum
1997 Photographs 1950s to 1990s, Tokyo Museum of Photography, Tokyo
1996 Women to Women, Takashimaya Gallery, Tokyo
1996 The Danube, Neues Schauspielhaus, Berlin, Germany; Leica Gallery, New York; Galeria Fotoforum, Bolzano
1995 Spain in the fifties, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Madrid; Museo de Navarra, Pamplona
1994 Spain in the fifties, Spanish Institute, New York
1992/94 Retrospective, Neue Galerie Linz, Austria; America House, Frankfurt; Hardenberg Gallery, Velbert; Galerie Fotogramma, Milan; Royal Photographic Society, Bath; Smith Gallery and Museum, Stirling; America House, Berlin; Hradcin Gallery, Prague
1991 Portraits, Kolbe Museum Berlin, Germany; Rupertinum Museum Salzburg
1989 Portraits, Burden Gallery, Aperture Foundation, New York
1989 Portraits, Norwich Cathedral, Norwich
1989 Portraits, American Cultural Center, Brussels
1988 Retrospective, Union of Photojournalists, Moscow, Russia; Sala del Canal Museum, Madrid; Rupertinum Museum, Salzburg
1979 Inge Morath: Photographs of China, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan
1964 Inge Morath: Photographs, Gallery 104, Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois
AWARDS | Recognitions
1992 Great Austrian State Prize for Photography
1984 Doctor Honoris Causa Fine Arts, University of Connecticut, Hartford
1983 State of Michigan Senate Resolution NO 295; Tribute to Inge Morath in recognition of her outstanding accomplishment as a photographer and chronicler of human life
2018 Inge Morath: Magnum Legacy (Prestel, USA)
2016 Inge Morath – On Style (Abrams, NYC)
2011 View York – Nine Perceptions (Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld)
2009 First Color (Steidl, Germany)
2009 Iran (Steidl, Germany)
2006 The Road to Reno (Steidl, Germany)
2002 New York (Otto Müller/Verlag, Austria)
2000 Saul Steinberg Masquerade (Viking Studio, USA)
1999 Inge Morath: Life as a Photographer (Kehayoff Books, Germany)
1999 Arthur Miller: Photographed by Inge Morath (FNAC, Spain)
1999 Inge Morath: Portraits (Verlag, Austria)
1996 Woman to Woman (Magnum Photos, Japan)
1995 Donau (Verlag, Austria)
1994 Inge Morath: Spain in the Fifties (Arte con Texto, Spain)
1992 Inge Morath: Photographs 1952 to 1992 (Otto Müller/Verlag, Autria)
1991 Russian Journal (Aperture Foundation, USA)
1986 Portraits (Aperture, USA)
1984 Salesman in Beijing (Viking Press, USA)
1981 Bilder aus Wien: Der Liebe Augustin (Reich Verlag, Switzerland)
1980 From Persia to Iran: A Historical Journey (Viking Press, USA)
1979 Chinese Encounters (Straus & Giroux, USA)
1979 Inge Morath: Photographs of China (Grand Rapids Art Museum, USA)
1977 In the Country (Viking Press, USA)
1975 Grosse Photographen unserer Zeit: Inge Morath (C.J. Bucher Verlag, Switzerland)
1973 East West Exercises (Simon Walker & Co., USA)
1969 In Russia (Viking Press, USA)
1967 Le Masque (Drawings by Saul Steinberg) (Maeght Editeur, France)
1960 Bring Forth the Children: A Journey to the Forgotten People of Europe and the Middle East (McGraw-Hill, USA)
1958 De la Perse à l’Iran (Robert Delpire, France)
1956 Venice Observed (Reynal & Co., USA)
1956 Fiesta in Pamplona (Universe Books, USA)
1955 Guerre à la Tristesse (Robert Delpire, France)