Legacy preserves the rich photographic history of the greater Magnum Photos community, making this extensive visual archive of nearly 70 years available through new publications and as a resource to historians, scholars, and the public. 


The Magnum Foundation draws on the legacy of Magnum Photos, which was founded in 1947 by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger, and David Seymour as a photographic cooperative that would allow for the creation and dissemination of visual images unencumbered by the constraints of for-profit journalism. Magnum Photos has since become one of the world’s most influential photographic communities, producing images of great diversity and distinction that educate and shape collective perceptions of world events. The independent photographers of Magnum Photos founded the Magnum Foundation in 2007 to carry forward Magnum’s core values in new, relevant, and necessary ways for the field of photojournalism and beyond.

Magnum Foundation is leading an extensive effort to identify collections and estate holdings of work by Magnum photographers and to connect these materials through an online consortium. A pilot website for the Magnum Consortium is currently in beta-mode at www.magnumconsortium.net.

Magnum Foundation holds a collection of materials from the history of Magnum Photos at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, New Jersey. These archive holdings include records (minutes, committee reports, departmental papers, photographs, sound recordings. videotapes, etc.), personal papers of photographers, editors directors, and others, oral histories, and other primary resource material, including papers, manuscripts, and photographs. Magnum Foundation is proud to make the extensive visual archives available as a valuable resource to historians, scholars and the public, and to conduct internal research to develop and inform exhibitions, publications, and public projects. The archive is available to researchers by appointment. For further information please contact ryan@magnumfoundation.org.