• Home
  • Exhibitions & Events
  • The Photographic Cooperative that Influenced the World: The Origins of the Founding of Magnum Photos

Photo Exhibition to Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Opening of FUJIFILM SQUARE
The Photographic Cooperative that Influenced the World:
The Origins of the Founding of Magnum Photos

Little girl resting during the evacuation of the city, Barcelona, Spain, 1939
Robert Capa
© Robert Capa / ICP / Magnum Photos

Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare
Paris, France 1932
Henri Cartier-Bresson
© Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos

London Blitz
George Rodger 1940
© George Rodger / Magnum Photos

Young girl preparing for sentry duty,
Haifa, Israel, The Oil Refinery, 1951
David Seymour
© David Seymour / Magnum Photos

A baby's first five minutes.
A mother holds her child's hand.
Port Jefferson, NY, USA, 1959
Eve Arnold
© Eve Arnold / Magnum Photos

FUJIFILM SQUARE is pleased to announce the photo exhibition “The Photographic Cooperative that Influenced the World: The Origins of the Founding of Magnum Photos,” which runs from October 6 — 25, 2017.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the opening of the FUJIFILM SQUARE showroom on March 30, 2007, we are holding a series of 12 commemorative photo exhibitions that seek to communicate the past, present and future of photography. Among these, we are delighted to present the early works of an international photographic cooperative that exerted a major impact on the world of photography with its capacity to record world events in images imbued with artistic expression.

Magnum Photos was founded in 1947 based on an idea by renowned photographer Robert Capa and included Henri Cartier-Bresson among its founding members. The group members were active photojournalists during the Second World War, and founded the cooperative with the aim of encouraging people to see the world through new perspectives. This was a time when the world had just begun to recover from the ravages of war, and the concept of human rights was only just beginning to become widely recognized. Robert Capa had always placed great importance on the visual recording of actual events and was a pioneer of photojournalism, while Henri Cartier-Bresson raised the artistic levels of photography to new heights, conceiving of photography as the capturing of a decisive moment. Magnum Photos was founded on the principle of blending the recording of events and artistic expression into a single composition, heralding the rise of documentary photography. From the outset, the spirit of Magnum Photos was to utilize the power of photography to capture world events with an artistic predilection aimed at bringing the concept of humanism to a wider audience. We very much hope that this photo exhibition, which brings together acclaimed works of photographers during the early days of Magnum Photos, will provide visitors with an opportunity to revisit their thoughts on the world and the times in which we live.


Name of exhibition The Photographic Cooperative that Influenced the World: The Origins of the Founding of Magnum Photos
A photo exhibition to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of FUJIFILM SQUARE
Dates and Time October 6 — 25, 2017
Dates and times 10:00 - 19:00 (last entry: 18:50)
Open every day throughout exhibition
Featured photographers Ten members from the early days of Magnum Photos including Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson
Number of featured works Approx. 70 (all works displayed in silver halide original prints)
Venue FUJIFILM SQUARE
Admission Entry free
Organized by FUJIFILM Corporation
Cooperation by Magnum Photos, Tokyo branch

Related event

1) Commemorative lecture by a member of the Tokyo branch of Magnum Photos

Date and times 9 October 2017   13:30—15:00 (provisional)
Venue Second floor, FUJIFILM SQUARE (specially prepared meeting room)
Speaker Junko Ogawa, Managing Director, Tokyo branch of Magnum Photos

2) An Introduction to Magnum Photos — a discussion by the FUJIFILM SQUARE concierge

Date and times Everyday at 14:00 and 17:00 throughout duration of exhibition
(each discussion lasts for approx. 30 minutes)
Admission Free, no prior reservation required

Reference notes

Composition of the exhibition

Part I — The photographic origins of four of the founding members
Hungarian-born Robert Capa sprang to fame after capturing an image during the Spanish Civil War entitled The Falling Soldier. At the time, it was widely hailed as one of the greatest photos ever taken. French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson turned to photography after initially studying painting — he even held a number of solo exhibitions as an artist. Also among the founding members of Magnum Photos were the Polish photographer David “Chim” Seymour and British photojournalist George Rodger.

Part II — World War Two
All four above photographers covered World War Two in various locations. Robert Capa was present at the D-Day landings in Normandy, and elevated the art of photojournalism to new heights. Henri Cartier-Bresson was a prisoner of war and attempted to escape twice before his successful third attempt. Immediately following the war, he traveled to India and China to cover the tumultuous events unfolding there. All four photographers constantly sought to record the plight of ordinary people amidst the chaos and turmoil of war.

Part III — The founding of Magnum Photos and later developments
Magnum Photos was founded in 1947. Many photographers agreed wholeheartedly with the principles of the cooperative, and membership gradually increased. The cooperative did not focus solely on current events, but also expanded its photographic endeavors into the fields of art and culture. In 1954, both Robert Capa and fellow cooperative member Werner Bischof died unexpectedly, and David Seymour was killed two years later, but the indomitable spirit of Magnum Photos lives on to this day some 70 after the cooperative was originally founded.

List of featured photographers
Robert Capa
Henri Cartier-Bresson
David “Chim” Seymour
George Rodger
Werner Bischof
Marc Riboud
Inge Morath
Eve Arnold
Elliott Erwitt
Dennis Stock

In 2016, the Photo History Museum was formally approved by the Association for Corporate Support of the Arts for its “contributions to society through the promotion of arts and culture” and was permitted to use the official “This is MECENAT 2016” mark.

Back to TOP