Wednesday, August 9, 2017


New York, NY - Due to popular demand, the Rubin Museum of Art will extend the exhibition “Henri Cartier-Bresson: India in Full Frame,” illustrating the pioneering photographer’s perspective on India in a period of political and cultural turmoil. Now closing on January 29, 2018, the exhibition features 69 photographs, selected by the artist, from his travels in India during the mid-twentieth century as well as his letters, camera, and other personal ephemera, shown in this configuration for the first time in the United States. This selection of Cartier-Bresson’s India work includes images of political leaders, refugees from India’s partition from Pakistan, and everyday people, offering insight into his deep understanding of issues that continue to resonate today.

Cartier-Bresson is best known for his “street photography” that has influenced generations of photographers and was developed during his travels around the world. His first trip to India was in 1947, when the country was undergoing a massive political transition having gained independence from Britain that year. A key set of photographs on view show Mahatma Gandhi’s final hours, and events following his assassination, which helped catapult Cartier-Bresson to international fame when they were published in LIFE Magazine and other outlets.

“Students and connoisseurs of photography are likely familiar with Cartier-Bresson’s humanist street photography that reveals a precise but sensitive geometry framed around a key instant, which he famously termed the ‘decisive moment.’ This exhibition highlights both his photographs of the everyday and many important moments in modern Indian history,” said Beth Citron, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Rubin and organizer of this exhibition.  “They reflect Cartier-Bresson’s mastery of his medium, as well as his abiding interest in the people and sites of India.”

In addition to the photographs, the exhibition will delve into public perceptions of Cartier-Bresson’s work through its publication in news outlets such as LIFE Magazine.  An audio tour will accompany the exhibition, and on September 13, the Rubin Museum will also host an upcoming illustrated lecture by Peter Galassi, former curator of photography at MoMA. Full program listings can be found at

“Henri Cartier-Bresson: India in Full-Frame” is organized by the Rubin Museum of Art in collaboration with Magnum Photos and the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, and supported by The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, David Solo, an anonymous donor, and contributors to the 2017 Exhibitions Fund. The exhibition was curated by Beth Citron, and the design and installation was overseen by Fabiana Weinberg.

About Henri Cartier-Bresson
Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) studied painting in the 1920s and made a serious commitment to photography in the early 1930s. In 1935 he studied film with Paul Strand, and later worked as assistant to the director Jean Renoir. In 1937 in Spain, he made a documentary on Republican hospitals. Captured by the Germans in 1940, he spent three years in prisoner-of-war camps before he escaped and joined the Paris underground, filming the homecoming of French POWs. In 1947 he founded the photographic agency Magnum with Robert Capa, David Seymour and others. His work took him all over the world – to India, Burma, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, Russia, Japan, Cuba, Mexico and Canada. Over the course of his career, Cartier-Bresson published his photographs in prestigious magazines and photo books, and he held exhibitions across the world, including a major recent retrospective held at the MoMA, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta (2010-11).

About Beth Citron
Beth Citron is the Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art at the Rubin Museum in New York. Her exhibitions for the Rubin Museum have included “Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: Try to Altar Everything” (2016), "Francesco Clemente: Inspired by India” (2014), "Witness at a Crossroads: Photographer Marc Riboud in Asia” (2014), and the three part exhibition series "Modernist Art from India" (2011-13). She completed a Ph.D. in the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and has taught in the Art History Department at New York University, from which she also earned a B.A. in Fine Arts.

About the Rubin Museum of Art
The Rubin Museum of Art is an arts oasis and cultural hub in New York City’s vibrant Chelsea neighborhood that inspires visitors to make powerful connections between contemporary life and the art and ideas of the Himalayas, India, and neighboring regions. With a diverse array of thought-provoking exhibitions and programs—including films, concerts, and on-stage conversations—the Rubin provides immersive experiences that encourage personal discoveries and spark new ways of seeing the world. Emphasizing cross-cultural connections, the Rubin is a space to contemplate the big questions that extend across history and span human cultures.

Rubin Museum of Art 
150 West 17th Street
New York, NY 10011

Monday 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Thursday 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Friday 11:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
The Museum is closed on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Day.

The shop and Café Serai are open during all Museum hours and do not require an admission ticket to visit. Café Serai temporarily suspends service on Friday afternoons from 4:15–6:00 p.m. to prepare for the evening’s K2 Lounge.

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