Quote:"A photograph is a subjective impression. It is what the photographer sees. No matter how hard we try to get into the skin, into the feeling of the subject or situation, however much we empathize, it is still what we see that comes out in the images, it is our reaction to the subject and in the end, the whole corpus of our work becomes a portrait of ourselves."

Marilyn Silverstone joined Magnum Photos in 1964 and became a full Member in 1967.

Marilyn Silverstone
American, b. London 1929, d. Nepal 1999

Born in London in 1929, Marilyn Silverstone graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, then worked as an associate editor for Art News, Industrial Design and Interiors during the 1950s. She also served as an associate producer and historical researcher for an Academy Award-winning series of films on painters.

In 1955 she began to photograph professionally as a freelancer (with the Nancy Palmer Agency, New York), working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America and the Soviet Union. In 1959 she was sent on a three-month assignment to India, but ended up moving to New Delhi and was based there until 1973. During that time she produced the books Bala Child of India (1962) and Ghurkas and Ghosts (1964), and later The Black Hat Dances (1987), and Ocean of Life (1985), a journey of discovery that aims to take the reader to the heart of a complex and compassionate Buddhist culture. Kashmir in Winter, a film made from her photographs, won an award at the London Film Festival in 1971.

Silverstone became an associate member of Magnum in 1964, a full member in 1967, and a contributor in 1975.

Silverstone, whose photographs have appeared in many major magazines, including Newsweek, Life, Look, Vogue and National Geographic, became an ordained Buddhist nun in 1977. She lived in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she practiced Buddhism and researched the vanishing customs of the Rajasthani and Himalayan kingdoms. She died in October 1999 at the Shechen monastery, near Kathmandu, which she had helped to finance.

Silverstone's photographic estate is managed by Magnum Photos under the direction of James A. Fox, a former Magnum Editor-in-Chief and present Curator.

Bachelor of Arts, Wellesley College, Wellesley, USA

1971 London Film Festival Award (for Kashmir in Winter)

1987 The Black Hat Dances, Dodd, Mead & Company, USA
1985 Ocean of Life: Visions of India and the Himalayan Kingdoms, Aperture, UK
1964 Gurkhas and Ghosts: The Story of a Boy, Methuen & Co., UK
1962 Bala: Child of India, Methuen & Co., UK


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