Some might say that the city of Rochester, New York is struggling; others might say that it’s evolving. One thing’s for sure though: Rochester — nicknamed The World’s Image Centre — is changing. Because of this, and because of the city’s rich photographical history (think Kodak), ten of Magnum Photos’ photographers have chosen Rochester as one of three locations currently being documented across the United States. Read more…
Want to play role in the legendary agency Magnum Photos? Well, now you can as a “Magnum Tagger”. The cooperative is having a tough time keeping their large archive of historical photographs organized and easily searchable. Of the 500,000 images they’ve uploaded to the web, about 200,000 have little or no associated metadata. Magnum has decided to tackle this problem by crowdsourcing it, asking for volunteers to sift through the photographs and add useful information. For the trial run they’re looking for 50 volunteers, which shouldn’t be hard to find given the hundreds of thousands of followers they have on sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Back in February 2011, Leica Camera and Magnum Photos announced a partnership that will spawn a series of multimedia essays created by Magnum photojournalists with Leica equipment. They also created this inspirational video telling the story of how many of history’s iconic photographs were captured by Magnum photographers using Leica gear.
We reported at the beginning of last month that photography co-op Magnum had sold nearly 200,000 prints to billionaire Michael Dell’s MSD Capital. Now, new details are emerging as to exactly what they plan to do with the money and with their future direction.
Magnum managing director Mark Lubell recently told ArtInfo.com that he developed a three year turnaround business plan to move the co-op away from traditional revenue streams – a plan that was approved with a unanimous vote by Magnum’s members and estates. The plan involved not only embracing new media, but returning to their photojournalistic roots:
Although he declined to go in to detail about how the company plans to use the proceeds from the sale of its archive, Lubell says that some money will go toward a Web initiative that will give photographers a platform to distribute content. Funds will also be devoted to helping photographers reach field destinations for stories and see them through long-term — the kind of journalism that was once Magnum’s bread and butter. For instance, photographers will be sent to Haiti over the next 12 to 18 months to document the nation’s effort to rebuild. After the initial tragedy subsides, “everyone leaves,” Lubell says, and because the aftermath isn’t headline news, coverage of continuing crises typically aren’t “funded in traditional media circles.”
In an age where everyone is suddenly a “photographer”, it’ll be nice to see Magnum going places and documenting things that amateurs and traditional media neglect.
Billionaire Michael Dell‘s investment firm MSD Capital, L.P has purchased the entire New York print archive of renowned photo agency Magnum Photos, totaling nearly 200,000 images. The collection includes some of the most iconic images throughout history, including photos of world leaders, celebrities, and major events such as World War II. Though the price was not disclosed, the collection was previously insured for over $100 million.
Under the agreement, the prints will be preserved, catalogued, and made accessible by the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin. While MSD Capital purchased all of the physical prints, Magnum’s member photographers will still retain the copyright and licensing rights to all of the photographs.
Thomas F. Staley, director of the Ransom Center, states,
This is a singularly valuable collection in the history of photography, [...] It brings together some of the finest photojournalists of the profession and spans more than a half century of contributions to the medium.
The collection was relocated to Texas from New York City in December 2009 on two trailer trucks.
Update: Jonathan from Magnum Photos informs us that the acquisition encompasses the entire press print archive, not the entire archive of the agency. We’ve changed “print” to “press” in the title to reflect this.
Update: We’ve fixed a couple typos that ajehals pointed out. Thanks!