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A Narrated Look at the Magnum Photos Archive

Magnum Photos was founded in 1947 as a photographer’s co-op. Created by photojournalists with the memory of World War II fresh in their minds, Magnum’s cooperative format allowed for an artistic, unvarnished look at photography.

Since 2009, the 200,000 photos in the Magnum Archive has resided at UT’s Harry Ransom Center. And, thanks to a recent donation, the archive will stay there.

Steven Hoelscher is the academic curator of photography at the Ransom Center, and editor of "Reading Magnum," a new book from the University of Texas Press. He recently stopped by the KUT studios to talk about a few photos from the vast Magnum repository.   

There’s an upcoming series of Magnum-related events on the UT campus:

  • Oct. 22: “Eli Reed: The Lost Boys of Sudan,” exhibiting at the Ransom Center through Dec. 8.
  • Oct. 23: “Alec Soth: From Here To There,” a visual lecture from Magnum photographer Soth.
  • Oct. 24: A lecture from Magnum photographer Jim Goldberg.
  • Oct. 25-27: “Magnum Photos into the Digital Age,” a weekend-long symposium at the AT&T Executive Education And Conference Center.

You can read about the events on the Ransom Center website.

For more on Magnum Photos, listen to KUT’s interview with Hoelscher below: on his criteria for deciding which photos to use in “Reading Magnum,” how Magnum’s adapting to new multimedia photojournalism, and what paths it may take in the future.

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