Eve Arnold, American photographer and photojournalist, was born in Philadelphia on April 21, 1912, the daughter of Russian immigrants William and Bessie Cohen. While in her late 20s she moved to New York, where she took a job in a Hoboken photo-finishing plant, married industrial designer Arnold Arnold, and began making her own photographs. Her formal education in photography consisted of a six-week course taught by Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research in 1947. Her only child, Francis, was born in 1948.
Eve Arnold joined with Magnum Photos in 1951; she became an associate member of the photographers' collective in 1955, and in 1957 its first female full member in New York. The organization, founded in 1947 by Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, and David "Chim" Seymour, followed Cartier-Bresson's dictum that "one must stay photographically in contact with the realities taking place in front of our lenses and not hesitate to sacrifice material comfort and security." In her work, Arnold traveled to document events, politics, personalities, society, and material culture in locations including Afghanistan, Africa, Cuba and the Caribbean, India, Europe, Egypt, the Soviet Union/Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yugoslavia, as well as the United States and the United Kingdom. She was also known for her documentation of American celebrity culture through her images of film stars Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, and others at work, play, and home; she was the photographer on more than 35 movie sets, most notably The Misfits, a 1961 American drama directed by John Huston from a screenplay by Arthur Miller, which was the last film made by both actors Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. Arnold also photographed groups as diverse as the 1952 American Republican National Convention, Malcolm X and his Muslim followers, and Mikhail Baryshnikov and the American Ballet Theatre dancers. Her work was regularly published in popular magazines, specialized periodicals, and a variety of books during her lifetime, and was featured in one-woman shows and group exhibitions in the United States and Great Britain; she received honorary degrees from the University of St. Andrews and the University of Sheffield. Arnold wrote or co-authored more than a dozen books including The Unretouched Woman (1976), Flashback! the 50's (1978), In China (1980), In America (1983), Marilyn Monroe, an Appreciation (1987), Private View: Inside Baryshnikov's American Ballet Theatre (1988), All in a Day's Work (1989), The Great British (1991), Film Journal (2002), and Handbook (with footnotes) (2004), in addition to her autobiographical volume Eve Arnold: In Retrospect (1995). She also produced and directed a film, Behind the Veil (1972), which examined harem life in eastern Arabia.
Eve Arnold moved to London in 1961 with her son Francis, and remained a resident of that city until her death there on January 5, 2012.