On reading my latest issue of Vanity Fair, in a Post Script, I realized that the January 2001 issue of Vanity Fair included a feature called “Shooting Past 80: Photography’s Grand Masters. It profiled several photographers who are 80 years or older (Helmut Newton, 80; Phil Stern, 81; Arnold Newman, 82; Henri Cartier Bresson, 92; Yousuf Karsh, 91, Eve Arnold, 87), who were still alive back in 2000. They even got Henri Cartier Bresson to shoot some of the portraits of his peers (Newton, Arnold, Willy Ronis, 90) in HCB’s first major assignment in 29 years. Ever an artist, he shot Newton next to the statues of Chopin and his muse; when asked about these shots, Cartier Bresson insisted, “There is no need to play cello on a little tune that I just whistled. La vanite n’est pas une bonne affaire.”
Although Vanity Fair asked its readers to go online and read more about the story, the story was not on its website. I managed to find the article, sans photos, online and it is republished on Iconic Photos here. I have been tremendously busy in the past few weeks, but this weekend, I am flying back to my mother’s place (partly to see her, partly to search for a certain January issue of Vanity Fair). I might scan and upload those spreads when I have time. I might also do some profiles on the photographers.
— A. S. H. London, 27th October 2010.