To mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Capa the International Center of Photography have organized a eries of events and new projects over the coming year. To kick-off the celebration, ICP has released the only existing recording of the famed photojournalist’s voice. Recorded in 1947 as an interview with WNBC’s radio program “Hi! Jinx,” Capa’s voice is now being preserved alongside his prints, negatives, contact sheets, publications and correspondence. The recently discovered recording is now on the ICP web site. It is the only known recording of his voice.
Robert Capa, [Robert Capa and John Steinbeck, Moscow], 1947. © Robert Capa/International Center of Photography.
'Capa in Color', the first exhibition to look at Capa’s color work from his entire career, will open at ICP on January 31, 2014. The show will present over 100 color images that he made from 1941-54, from World War II to his trip in the U.S.S.R. with John Steinbeck, to images of Picasso, Humphrey Bogart, and Ingrid Bergman, to the last images he took in Vietnam in 1954. Widely published in magazines at the time, the show will expose a totally unexplored facet of his work to contemporary viewers. In conjunction with the Capa in Color exhibition, a public panel highlighting his life, career and legacy will be held in February 2014 in New York.
“Capa remains a myth and a legend, and over the next year we want to engage people who know his work as well as new audiences,” says Cynthia Young, curator of the Capa Archive at ICP. “Part of the goal of the 100th celebration is to reveal the richness and depth of the Capa Archive at ICP. Recovering his color photography is part of that work and the discovery of his voice on the 1947 radio recording almost single-handedly brings him to life in a way we have never experienced before.”
The Robert Capa Archive just received a $117,500 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) for continued work on cataloguing and research, and for making the archive digitally accessible through a dedicated website. This site will allow scholars and students to search and navigate through more than 10,000 images from some of the most important historical events of the mid-twentieth century and see his work in context with the magazines who originally published the images.
Robert Capa, Death of a Loyalist Militiaman, Córdoba front, Spain, early September 1936. © Robert Capa/International Center of Photography.
Together with Magnum Photos, ICP is presenting a digital project titled ‘Get Closer’, a daily posting of one Capa image coupled with a contemporary photographer’s image and their associations with Capa and his legacy. The photographers include Magnum members, as well as other renowned photojournalists, many of the Robert Capa Gold Medal winners from the Overseas Press Club, as well as contemporary artists working in photography. For more information here.
Adding to the collection at ICP, renowned photographer dealer Daniel Wolf recently donated a vintage 1938 print of Robert Capa in honor of Pat Schoenfeld, who was honored in May with the ICP Trustees Award for her years of dedication and commitment to the organization. The image was taken by an unidentified photographer in China following the battle of Tai’erzhuang. Capa sits holding his Contax camera with Dutch cinematographer John Fernhout and Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens on a captured Japanese tank. ICP is also working on a publication of Capa’s letters for 2016. A copious letter writer to family, friends, and colleagues, his correspondences are a rare window into his life and detail his humor and fascinating insights into the profession.
Robert Capa, [American soldier killed by a German sniper, Leipzig, Germany], April 18, 1945. © Robert Capa/International Center of Photography.
In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of his birth, many international venues are also celebrating his anniversary: in Seoul, Korea, Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Robert Capa 100 (August 2-October 28, 2013), in Budapest, Hungarian National Museum, Capa the Gambler (September 18, 2013-January 12, 2014), in Rome, Robert Capa in Italy, Palazzo Braschi (October 2, 2013 - January 5, 2014), in Florence, Museo Nazionale della fotografia Fratelli Alinari (January 10- March 30, 2014), in Mexico City, Museo San Ildefonso, The Mexican Suitcase: The Rediscovered Spanish Civil War Negatives by Capa, Chim and Taro (October 8, 2013–February 9, 2014), in Passariano del Friuli, Italy, Villa Marin, Robert Capa Retrospective (October 20-January 19, 2014), in Leipzig, Germany, banner promoting the Capa centennial on the so-called “Capa house,” where Capa took what he called his last photograph of World War II of an American killer by a German sniper in May 1944 (October 2013), in Paris, Paris Photo, Galerie Daniel Blau stand, Capa 1943-1945 (November 14-17, 2013), in Bram, France, Capa: Spanish Civil War and Internment Camps (February-March 2014), in Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Robert Capa retrospective (March-June 2014).
David Scherman, [Robert Capa, Weymouth, England], June 7, 1944. Capa the day after he swam up on Omaha beach with American troops for the invasion of Normandy. © David Scherman.
About Robert Capa
Born Endré Friedmann in Budapest on October 22, 1913, Robert Capa became one of the most respected photojournalists of the twentieth century. Exiled from Hungary at the age of seventeen because of leftist student activities, he fled to Berlin. With no money, no profession, and no knowledge of German, he turned to the camera as a means of earning a living. Beginning in 1936, he gained an international reputation for his coverage of the Spanish Civil War. Robert Capa’s bravery often led him to the front lines of battle. Sometimes arriving by parachute or crawling to shore with the first wave of troops, Capa managed to document five of the major wars of the last century. He covered the heroic Republican struggle in Spain, the Chinese resistance to the Japanese invasion in 1938, the major North African and European battles of World War II, including the Allied landing in Normandy on D-Day (June 6, 1944), the Israeli War for Independence in 1948, and the end of the French Indochina War in 1954. Capa covered these conflicts with a fearless determination that lent credence to his motto “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” In 1938, when he was only 25 years old, the British magazine Picture Post had the confidence to call him “The Greatest War-Photographer in the World.” During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Capa traveled around the world as a correspondent for Magnum Photos, the agency he founded in 1947 with Henri Cartier-Bresson, Chim (David Seymour), William Vandivert, and George Rodger. Capa’s commitment to producing the most immediate images of war ultimately cost him his life when he stepped on a landmine in Indochina in 1954.