Postwar Elegance Captured by a Groundbreaking Female Photographer

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A photograph from the new book Inge Morath: On Style.Photo: The Inge Morath Foundation/Magnum Photos

The late photographer Inge Morath was 16 and living in Germany with her family when World War II broke out, in 1939. After she refused to join the Nazi Party’s Hitler Youth, she was drafted to work with Ukrainian prisoners of war in an airplane factory instead. She survived the building’s constant bombings to became one of the first women to join the acclaimed Magnum Photos Agency in Paris and, ultimately, one of the greatest photographers of the postwar decade.

Known for capturing everyday people, streets, and parties throughout the 1950s and ’60s, Morath also photographed some of the era’s biggest stars, including Yves Saint Laurent’s debut and Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable on the set of John Huston’s The Misfits. “She made poetry out of people and their places for over half a century,” her husband, the playwright Arthur Miller, once said.

The new book Inge Morath: On Style, out this month from Abrams, showcases 250 photographs of her most famous subjects (Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Berman, Andy Warhol, Yves Saint Laurent, Marilyn Monroe) as well iconic scenes like society balls and Fifth Avenue windows. Click ahead to preview the book.