Eve Arnold, one of the first woman photojournalists to join the prestigious Magnum Photography Agency in the 1950s and traveled the world for her work but was best known for her candid shots of Hollywood celebrities, has died. She was 99.
Her photographs of Joan Crawford show the actress in her 50s, near the end of her reign as Hollywood royalty. None is flattering. There are close-ups of Crawford applying makeup to her wrinkled eyelids and evaluating her aged face in a hand mirror.
"The first time I met Joan Crawford she took off all her clothes, stood in front of me nude and insisted I photograph her," Arnold wrote in "Film Journal." They met in a dressing room when Arnold was on assignment for Women's Home Companion magazine. "Sadly," she wrote of Crawford, "something happens to flesh after 50."
After the photo session Crawford demanded that Arnold give her the film of the nudes and Arnold agreed.
Images of Crawford are among the more brutal included in "Film Journal." The book was praised for its "poignant [images], all capturing an off-guard moment full of character" in a 2002 review in the Canadian Review of Books.