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Magnum Photos' 67-Hour 'Flash Sale' Broke the Internet

Magnum's website crashed due to too much traffic when they launched their 67 hour "Flash Sale" of Instagram prints.

Photo by Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos

Magnum Photos is the photo cooperative founded in 1947 by Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour and George Rodger. VICE readers will know the name because of our "VICE Loves Magnum" series. As photo agencies go, the place is famously old-school, and, for better or worse, grounded in tradition and some vague but admirable principles about the photographic medium. So, it's a little surprising and maybe refreshing to see Magnum using Instagram to sell somewhat "affordable art" in the form of what their calling #MAGNUMSquare prints.


In honor or the 67th anniversary of the organization, Magnum is offering signed 6x6" prints for $100 during a 67 hour window. The sale is raising eyebrows in the photo world (their site crashed due to traffic when the sale launched on Tuesday), and some are wonder if the agency has found a way to unite its stodgy history with a young, Instagramming audience. "That the site crashed due to too much traffic is expressive of something I wouldn’t  have guessed," Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas told VICE, "it's something we're still sorting out as a society: when everything is available online, why do people still want to own physical photographs? In some ways, the sale will inform us about what people today find valuable to have."

Last chance to nab one of these Magnum originals is Friday at 7AM EST. Here are some of our favorites from the 44 photographs on offer:

Photo by Bruno Barbey/Magnum Photos

Photo by Michael Christopher Brown/Magnum Photos

Photo by Rene Burri/Magnum Photos

Photo by Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos

Photo by Richard Kalvar/Magnum Photos

Photo by Mark Power/Magnum Photos

Photo by Trent Parke/Magnum Photos