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Inge Morath (1923–2002)
Mrs. Eveleigh Nash at Buckingham Palace Mall
England, London, 1953
Gelatin silver print, 21,6 x 30,8 cm
Stamped „Photography by Inge Morath, 1970 Magnum Photos, 72 West 45th Street, N.Y.C. 10036” on the reverse

One of her first assignments for Magnum led Inge Morath to London, where she worked on photo essay for Holiday Magazine portraying the inhabitants of Soho and Mayfair. The portrait of Eveleigh Nash with her chauffeur at the Buckingham Palace Mall is one of her most well-known images. It was published many times and different prints of the image are held by renowned collections.

The complex composition seems to have two perspectives with different vanishing points. The distinguished lady in her open limousine is connected to the background over the parts of the coach that form a sort of framework for the minor characters in the image. The chauffeur and the two male pedestrians on the boulevard are the protagonists of this Mise-en-scène. As framing is always a form of demarcation, it can be argued that the image structure of this photograph illustrates certain social contexts.

In the gaze of the portrayed – the chauffeur and Mrs. Nash are both looking into the camera – another ambivalent relationship is uncovered, the one between the photographer and the portrayed person, including the role the camera plays as used by this specific image author. Because we can see the reaction of the portrayed in their posture, Inge Morath as the photographer equally becomes perceptible in the image.

Morath’s working method is visible in a somewhat distanced but focused attention for her subject. This is a typical trait of her work, as she has always tried to get to terms with the subject before committing to a photograph. She was never interested in speedy capture, or in spectacular and revelatory moments, 4 meters of distance and a 50 mm lens were her preferred optical characteristics.

Marie Röbl, © WestLicht


Lit.: Inge Morath, Fotografien 1952-1992, ed. by Kurt Kaindl, Salzburg 1992, p. 12, p. 65 (ill.); Olga Carlisle, Große Photographen unserer Zeit: Inge Morath, Luzern 1975, p. 24f (Cover image).

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