Photo by Martine Frank in Shechen Monastery, Nepal, 1996

Martine Franck

Shechen Monastery, Nepal, 1996

Gelatin silver print

“What I like most about photography is the moment that you can't anticipate: you have to be constantly watching for it, ready to welcome the unexpected."

Martine Franck (1938-2012) was born in Belgium, grew up in the United States and England, and studied Art History in Spain and in France, where she presented a thesis on the influence of cubism on sculpture. She began her photographic career as an assistant of Gjon Mili at Life  magazine, and worked with other agencies from the 1970's. She was a member of Magnum Photos from 1980. 

She was the wife of Henri Cartier-Bresson, with whom she co-founded the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation. She is well known for her humanitarian photography and portrait photographs of important cultural figures such as the painter Marc Chagall, the philosopher Michel Foucault and the poet Seamus Heaney. She also captured and documented life in remote communities, such as Buddhist monks.