Cornell Capa

American, b. Hungary 1918, d. 2008

Cornell Capa was born Cornell Friedmann to a Jewish family in Budapest. In 1936 he moved to Paris, where his brother Andre (Robert Capa) was working as a photojournalist. He worked as his brother's printer until 1937, then moved to New York to join the new Pix photo agency. In 1938 he began working in the Life darkroom. Soon his first photo-story - on the New York World's Fair - was published in Picture Post.

In 1946, after serving in the US Air Force, Cornell became a Life staff photo- grapher. After his brother's death in 1954, he joined Magnum, and when David 'Chim' Seymour died in Suez in 1956 Capa took over as president of Magnum, a post he held until 1960.

Capa made an empathetic, pioneering study of mentally retarded children in 1954, and covered other social issues, such as old age in America. He also explored his own religious tradition. While working for Life, Capa made the first of several Latin American trips. These continued through the 1970s and culminated in three books, among them Farewell to Eden (1964), a study of the destruction of indigenous Amazon cultures.

Capa covered the electoral campaigns of John and Robert Kennedy, Adlai Stevenson and Nelson Rockefeller, among others. His 1969 book, New Breed on Wall Street, was a landmark study of a generation of ruthless young entrepreneurs keen on making money and spending it fast.

In 1974 Capa founded New York City's influential International Center of Photography, to which for many years he dedicated much of his considerable energy as its director.

 

Awards

1999      Lifetime Achievement Award in Photography, the Aperture Foundation
1995      Honorary Member, the American Society of Museum Photographers
1995      Distinguished Career in Photography Award, the Friends of Photography
1991      Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France
1990      Peace and Culture Award, Sokka Gakkai International
1986      Leica Medal of Excellence
1975      Honor Award, the American Society of Magazine Photographers

Exhibitions

2000      Reflections in a Glass Eye: Works from the International Center of Photography 
             Collection
– International Center of Photography, New York, USA
1994      Cornell Capa - Photographer - International Center of Photography, New York,
             USA
1990      Capa & Capa: Brothers in Photography - International Center of Photography,
             New York, USA
1983      Cornell Capa - Peter Fetterman Gallery, USA
1972      Behind the Great Wall of China: Photographs from1870 to the Present - Metropolitan 
             Museum of Art, New York, USA
1969      Israel, the Reality - Jewish Museum, New York, USA

Books

2004      JFK For President, Steidl Publishing, USA
1992      Cornell Capa: Photographs, Bulfinch Press, USA
1990      Master Photographs, W.W. Norton & Company, USA
1974      Margin of Life, Grossman Publishers, USA
1974      Jerusalem, City of Mankind, Harap, UK
1969      Israel, the Reality, Thames & Hudson,USA & UK
1966      Adlai Stevenson's Public Years, Grossman Publishers, USA
1964      Farewell to Eden, Harper and Row, USA
1961      The Savage My Kinsman, Harper and Brothers, USA
1957      Retarded Children Can Be Helped, Channel Press, USA