Inge Morath Photographs and Papers
Scope and Contents
Photographic material in the collection includes contact sheets, color slides, and photographic prints.
Morath's documentary photographs depict people and events in a wide range of countries, including Austria, China, England, France, Germany, India, Italy, Romania, Russia, Spain, and Tunisia, as well as throughout Mexico and the United States.
The collection includes portrait studies of public figures, including Yul Brynner, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Dustin Hoffman, Henry Moore, Anaïs Nin, Pablo Picasso, Andrei Voznesensky, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko. It also includes projects with her longtime collaborator, artist Saul Steinberg.
Papers in the collection include story lists, captions, notebooks, general files, and publicity related chiefly to her photography. The collection also includes audiovisual material, electronic files, and artifacts.
A group of printed material accompanies the collection and consists of an incomplete set of her monographs, as well as works related to travel, languages, and other subjects.
The collection also chronicles Morath's personal life, including her marriage and family with playwright Arthur Miller, and provides ancillary documentation of his work.
In this guide to the collection, library staff chiefly retained Morath's titles and spellings, while contact sheets include authorized forms of names derived from her story lists.
Chronological arrangements within the collection reflect the image creation date, not the date the photograph was printed. Notes throughout the collection include Morath's "story numbers," when easily discerned by library staff.
Series I, Photographs, includes the bulk of photographic material created by Morath and her personal and family photographs, as well as photographs she collected by other photographers.
Series II, Papers, consists of papers that document the life and work of Morath, including story captions, notebooks, correspondence, clippings, financial records, and awards.
Series III, Photographs and Papers from the Morath-Miller Home, consists of material in the home of Morath and Arthur Miller in Roxbury, Connecticut, immediately before the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library acquired the material in 2014. It includes personal and family photographs, correspondence, writings and travel notebooks, address books, visiting cards, exhibition catalogs, publicity material, art, and ephemera.
Series IV, Audio Visual Material, consists of sound recordings, videocassettes, and films by or about Morath, and includes interviews with her and documentation of her exhibitions.
Series V, Electronic Files, chiefly consists of the electronic files created by Morath, as well as by the Inge Morath Foundation, including image files and backup files, as well as operating system and utility program files used by her.
Series VI, Objects, consists of the items Morath used as a photographer, including a camera, film canisters, and rubber ink stamps used to mark her prints, as well as other personal effects, including scarves and a suitcase.
- 1858 - 2012
- Majority of material found within 1953 - 2002
232.92 linear feet (743 boxes) + 7 broadsides, 1 roll, 1 computer
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Boxes 717-719, 722-723, 840 (audiovisual materials): Restricted Fragile Material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Boxes 725-732 (electronic files): Restricted Fragile Material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Existence and Location of Copies
The collection consists of the photographic archive and related papers of Inge Morath that document her work as a photographer, chiefly with Magnum Photos, from the early 1950s through her death.
Conditions Governing Use
The Inge Morath Photographs and Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University. Ms. Rebecca Miller, her heirs and assigns retain all commercial rights in photographs and writings by Morath. Literary rights, including copyright, of others belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library has the limited right to authorize scholars to reproduce up to five of Ms. Morath’s images in a scholarly publication.
Any exhibition or reproduction of contact sheets or work prints by Ms. Morath requires their identification as contact sheets or work prints.
The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library will not reproduce for any purpose photographs or images identified as "Family Photographs" in boxes 509-539, 612, and 701-703.
Photographs by Ms. Morath from the "Mask series" of photographs share copyright with the Saul Steinberg Foundation, and any use thereof requires the approval of the Saul Steinberg Foundation.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Rebecca Miller on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2014, and gift of Rebecca Miller, 2018.
Organized into seven series: I. Photographs, 1896-2001. II. Papers, 1858-2012. III. Photographs and papers from the Morath-Miller home, 1940-2005. IV. Audiovisual Material, 1960-2004. V. Electronic Files, 1994-2005. VI. Artifacts, 1954-2000. VII. December 2018 Acquisition, circa 1970. VIII. April 2018 Acquisition, 1910-2003.
372.73 Linear Feet ((821 boxes) + 15 broadside, 1 roll, 1 art)
Language of Materials
Inge Morath (1923-2002)
Inge Morath was born in Graz, Austria, in 1923. After studying languages in Berlin, she became a translator, then a journalist and the Austrian editor for Heute, an Information Service Branch publication based in Munich. All her life, Morath would remain a prolific diarist and letter-writer. A friend of photographer Ernst Haas, she wrote articles to accompany his photographs and was invited by Robert Capa and Haas to Paris to join the newly founded Magnum agency as an editor and researcher. She began photographing in London in 1951, and joined Magnum Photos as a photographer in 1953. While working on her own first assignments, Morath also assisted Henri Cartier-Bresson during 1953-54, becoming a full member in 1955. In the following years, Morath traveled extensively in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Her special interest in the arts found expression in photographic essays published by a number of leading magazines. After her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller in 1962, Morath settled in New York and Connecticut. She first visited the USSR in 1965. In 1972 she studied Mandarin and obtained a visa to China, making the first of many trips to the country in 1978. Much of Morath's most important work consists of portraits, but of passers-by as well as celebrities. She was also adept at photographing places: her pictures of Boris Pasternak's home, Pushkin's library, Chekhov's house, Mao Zedong's bedroom, artists' studios and cemetery memorials are permeated with the spirit of invisible people still present. Inge Morath died in New York City on 30 January 2002. For more detail about Morath's life and career, consult the brief biography compiled by the Inge Morath Foundation in Box 1, Folder 1 of the collection
Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.
Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, library staff supplied folder titles during initial processing.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Before its sale to the Library, the Inge Morath Foundation housed and administered the bulk of the collection at its administrative office in New York City. A small portion of the collection came from the Miller-Morath residence in Roxbury, Connecticut.
Boxes 720 and 721 are unused. Original videocassettes are now housed in box 719. Restricted fragile material.
- Guide to the Inge Morath Photographs and Papers
- Under Revision
- Matthew Daniel Mason and Joanne McCarthy, Brooke McManus
- January 2015. Revised: July 2022.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.