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Past Meets Present in Agra, India

On Steve McCurry’s masterful shot

Jan 22, 2019

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Steve McCurry

In this series, the curatorial team presents one work from the Meural art library we find essential. (See all installments.)

India, AgraSteve McCurry
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Past and present collide in this extraordinary photograph from Steve McCurry, the man behind perhaps the world’s most famous photograph, The Afghan Girl.

The Taj Mahal—an immense marble mausoleum built by a Mughal Emperor in memory of his beloved wife—provides the backdrop to a more recent symbol of Indian national culture: the steam train. It’s a grand, opulent scene, that feels heavy with history, and it showcases McCurry’s uncanny capacity for capturing the fleeting cinematic moments hidden in the hubbub of the everyday.

It is perhaps my favourite image from our latest collection of McCurry’s work—a selection of stand-out images from an expansive career covering conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions, and contemporary culture alike.

Poppy Simpson, Head of Curation

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Magnum Masters: Steve McCurry

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