back bounded-next cafe calendar-large calendar cart close coat-check collapse donate download elevators expand explore filter grid-view hamburger heart hours join link list-view location mail more next nursing-room phone print programs ramp restrooms right-arrow search share shop thumbs-down thumbs-up tickets up toilet heart-filled zoom Skip to Content

Past Exhibitions

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century

February 19–May 29, 2011

One of the great portraitists of the twentieth century, Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photographs captured people and events that changed the world. Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century is the first comprehensive retrospective of the French photographer’s work since his death in 2004, and it spans more than thirty years of his career.

Click on an image below to learn more.

Overview

One of the great portraitists of the twentieth century, Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photographs captured people and events that changed the world. Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century is the first comprehensive retrospective of the French photographer’s work since his death in 2004, and it spans more than thirty years of his career.

Beginning with his early photographs inspired by Surrealism, the exhibition emphasizes the prominent themes in Cartier-Bresson’s wide range of work including portraiture, ancient customs, modern industry, and crowd psychology. Photographs from his extensive travels provide glimpses of the rapidly changing world around him. Also included are Cartier-Bresson’s portraits of icons such as Coco Chanel and picture stories like the one of Mahatma Gandhi’s funeral.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908–2004) is one of the most accomplished figures in the history of photography. For more than three decades Cartier-Bresson was the keenest observer of global human affairs and one of the great portraitists of the twentieth century. His groundbreaking work of the early 1930s redefined the role of photography in the modern world, straddling the divide between art and photojournalism. From ancient traditions in foreign lands to urban post-war Europe, Cartier-Bresson demonstrated his uncanny ability to create telling images from fleeting moments in everyday life. A masterful storyteller, he created picture stories by combining a series of photos and captions and building narratives from many small, individual observations.

In 1947, after his first exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Cartier-Bresson helped pioneer Magnum Photo Agency, making it possible for photojournalists to reach a broad audience and maintain control over their work. He was a constant traveler, and in one trip to Asia that lasted three years he produced remarkable picture stories on the independence of India and Indonesia as well as the Communist takeover in China. He was also a filmmaker, and from 1969 to 1970 he made films about California and the American South.

Organization and Support

This exhibition is organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

The exhibition is made possible by its official airline, Delta.

Generous support is made possible by Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Yellowlees, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment and Massey Charitable Trust.

Your Museum is open! Reserve your TIMED TICKETS now!