Magnum Photos Sells Archive to Michael Dell’s Investment Firm

Henri Cartier-Bresson‘s iconic 1932 shot of a puddle-jumping gentleman behind Gare Saint Lazare in Paris (at left) and nearly 200,000 other original press prints of images taken by Magnum photographers have been acquired by MSD Capital, Dell chairman and CEO Michael Dell‘s investment firm, for an undisclosed sum. The print archive will be preserved and cataloged by the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, whose photography collection holds the 1826 photo by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce that is believed to be the world’s first photograph. The Magnum archive contains many of the most famous images of the 20th century, from Robert Capa‘s D-Day photos to Steve McCurry‘s famed 1985 “Afghan Girl” portrait. There are images of major world events, celebrities (Che Guevara savoring a Cohiba, Edie Sedgwick looking somehow elegant perched atop a manhole cover), and social affairs by Magnum photographers including Elliott Erwitt, Leonard Freed, Bruce Davidson, and many others. While MSD Capital has purhased the physical press prints, Magnum’s member photographers will retain copyright and licensing rights to all of the images in the collection.