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.
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
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,
1964 Gurkhas and Ghosts: The Story of a Boy, Methuen & Co., UK
1962 Bala: Child of India, Methuen & Co., UK