Robert Capa

American, b. Budapest 1913 - d. Indochina 1954

On 3 December 1938 Picture Post introduced 'The Greatest War Photographer in the World: Robert Capa' with a spread of 26 photographs taken during the Spanish Civil War.

But the 'greatest war photographer' hated war. Born Andre Friedmann to Jewish parents in Budapest in 1913, he studied political science at the Deutsche Hochschule für Politik in Berlin. Driven out of the country by the threat of a Nazi regime, he settled in Paris in 1933.

He was represented by Alliance Photo and met the journalist and photographer Gerda Taro. Together, they invented the 'famous' American photographer Robert Capa and began to sell his prints under that name. He met Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway, and formed friendships with fellow photographers David 'Chim' Seymour and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

From 1936 onwards, Capa's coverage of the Spanish Civil War appeared regularly. His picture of a Loyalist soldier who had just been fatally wounded earned him his international reputation and became a powerful symbol of war.

After his companion, Gerda Taro, was killed in Spain, Capa travelled to China in 1938 and emigrated to New York a year later. As a correspondent in Europe, he photographed the Second World War, covering the landing of American troops on Omaha beach on D-Day, the liberation of Paris and the Battle of the Bulge.

In 1947 Capa founded Magnum Photos with Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour, George Rodger and William Vandivert. On 25 May 1954 he was photographing for Life in Thai-Binh, Indochina, when he stepped on a landmine and was killed. The French army awarded him the Croix de Guerre with Palm post-humously. The Robert Capa Gold Medal Award was established in 1955 to reward exceptional professional merit.


Education

1931/33  Political Science, Deutsche Hochschule für Politik, Berlin, Germany

Awards

1954       War Cross with Palm from the French Army (posthumously)

Exhibitions

2005/06   Retrospective, Galerie Am Tunnel, Luxembourg, Luxembourg; 
               Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway; Kunsthalle, Fellbach, Germany
2004/05   Robert Capa connu et inconnu, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France; 
               Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, Germany
2002        Israel, Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme, Paris, France
2002        Slightly out of focus, Daimaru Museum, Tokyo, Japan
1999        Heart of Spain: Capa's Photographs of the spanish civil war, Museo Reina Sofia,
               Madrid, Spain
1997        Robert Capa : A Retrospective, Philadelphia Museum of Art,
               Aperture Foundation, USA
1995        Capa's life, Tokyo Fuji Art Museum, Mitsukoshi, Tokyo, Japan
1991        Robert Capa : A Retrospective, Sala de Exposiciones de la Disputacion,
               Burgos, Spain; Circulo de Bella Artes, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain;
               Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela
1991        Children of War, Children of Peace, ICP New York, USA
1990        Capa and Capa (with Cornell Capa), Mitsukoshi, Tokyo, Japan
1985        Robert Capa: Photographs, ICP, New York, USA
1976        Capa: emlèkkiàllilàs, Budapest Mücsarnok, Budapest, Hungary
1964        Images of War, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA
1960        Robert Capa: War Photographs, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA
1952        On Picasso (with Gjon Mili), Moma, New York, USA

Books

2004       Robert Capa Connu et Inconnu - BNF éditions, Paris, France
2001       Robert Capa: The Definitive Collection - Phaidon Press Ltd, UK; 
              (La Collection)
Phaidon Press, France
1999       Heart of Spain - Aperture, USA
1996/01  Robert Capa: Photographs - Aperture, USA; (Robert Capa: Photographies)
             
Editions Nathan, Paris
1991       Children of War, Children of Peace - Bulfinch Press, USA
1990       Capa & Capa: Brothers in Photography - International Center of Photography, USA
1988       Robert Capa: Photographs from Israel - The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
1985       Robert Capa: Photographs - Alfred A. Knopf, USA; (Robert Capa Photographe)
              Sylvie Messinger, France; Art&, Italy       
1985       Robert Capa: A Biography (by Richard Whelan) - Alfred A. Knopf, USA;
              Mazarine, France
1974       Robert Capa 1913-1954 - Grossman Publishers, USA
1964/65  Images of War - Grossman Publishers, USA; (Images de guerre)
             
Hachette, France
1950       Report on Israel - Simon and Schuster, Inc, USA
1948       A Russian journal - Viking Press, USA
1947       Slightly Out of Focus - Henry Holt & Co, USA 
              
(reprint: Modern Library, USA, 1999; Contrasto, Italy 2002; Delpire, France 2003)
1944       Invasion! - D. Appleton Century Co, USA
1938       Death in the Making (with Gerda Taro) - Covici Friede, USA