Bruce Davidson, American, born 1933
Widow of Montmartre, 1956
From the series The Widow of Montmartre
Gelatin silver print
Image: 8 × 12 in. (20.3 × 30.5 cm)
Sheet: 11 × 14 in. (27.9 × 35.6 cm)
Anonymous gift

© Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos
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Bruce Davidson (b. 1933) grew up in Oak Park near Chicago and became interested in photography at the age of ten. Following his studies at Rochester Institute of Technology and Yale University, the young photographer was drafted into the army and stationed near Paris. There he met Margaret Fauché, widow of the Impressionist painter Léon Fauché. Davidson recalled, “At ninety-two, the widow was a last remnant of the Impressionist era.” He visited Madame Fauché every weekend for months, photographing her on walks through Paris or in her apartment, creating one of his initial series, Widow of Montmartre, 1956. Davidson showed these photographs to Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908–2004), which was his first encounter with the man who would become his friend and mentor. Two years later, in 1958, Davidson joined the renowned agency Magnum Photos (cofounded by Cartier-Bresson), becoming, at 24 years old, the youngest member. Throughout his career he has displayed a sustained engagement with social and political concerns, working in series over extended periods of time.