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Inge Morath was born in Graz, Austria, to Mathilde Wiesler and Edgar Morath. After the Second World War, Morath moved to Vienna where she was hired as a journalist for Heute in 1948, later becoming the magazine’s editor. It was here that she encountered the photographer Ernst Haas (1921-1986), with whom she frequently collaborated on stories for the magazine. In 1949, the pair were invited by Robert Capa (1913-1954) to join Magnum Photo Agency in Paris. Morath transitioned from writing to photography in 1951 during a visit to Venice. She applied for an apprenticeship with Simon Guttman; the then editor of Picture Post.


In 1953, Morath began working as a researcher and assistant to Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), after which she was invited to become a full member of Magnum Photos. Inge Morath, along with Eve Arnold (1912-2012), was one of the first women to become a member of the organisation. During the late 1950s, Morath travelled extensively, producing work that was published in popular magazines, such as HolidayParis Match, and Vogue. Like many Magnum members, Morath also worked as a still photographer on numerous motions picture sets, such as Moulin Rouge (1952), The Unforgiven (1960) and The Misfits (1961). 

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