Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Remembering Photographer Mary Ellen Mark

A giant of the photography world has passedWe were fortunate enough to have worked with Mary Ellen Mark and the Wittliff Collections on a book of her photographs from India and Mexico, Man and Beast. She had such kind words to say about her experience publishing with us that we feel as if we've lost a loyal friend.

Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015)
Image from Man and Beast

Here is fellow Magnum photographer Eli Reed (A Long Walk Home) on Mary Ellen Mark:
I heard of Mary Ellen Mark's passing late today with some shock and sadness. She was and is one of the foundations of true photojournalism in a time that needed her kind of important additions to what is needed to tell important stories with truth, beauty, and a healthy respect for her subjects. 
They were not just subjects. Many became friends that stayed in touch with her throughout her life. The dimming of her light is an extremely important loss at this time in photographic history. There are so many well meaning professionals and amateurs who have tried to copy the work of photographers that possibly inhabit the same space that she lived in and the well meaning failed for the most part. 
One needed to have the same kind of faith in your own original vision that Mary Ellen Mark displayed time after time. It seems too many photographers did not get that very important memo. Particularly the part of that memo that tells you to get ready for failure so that when victory comesit will be as sweet as a Georgia peach. 
Mary Ellen could have been a very tough US Marine if she had somehow and for some reason thought to go in that direction but fortunately for the rest of usshe chose the path of being as gentle as the sweetest kiss from a Summer's sweet breeze celebrating the coming of a sultry night. 
Mary Ellen Mark was a magnificent human being who gave, through the work she produced, much more then she received and I mourn her passing. She was a special kind of a living day and night that brings to the front very beautiful mornings. Sweets dreams to her is a good thing.

Read Mary Ellen in conversation with Melissa Harris, editor-in-chief of Aperture Foundation, and Martin Bell, Mark's husband, former politician, and British UNICEF Ambassador, in this excerpt from Man and Beast.

Here she is giving a book talk at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in 2014:

Read more about Mary Ellen Mark and her work:

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