Cornell Capa • Photographer Profile • Magnum Photos

Magnum Pro

Editorial Cultural Commercial Search Image Archive

Welcome to the New Magnum Photos Site

Explore the award-winning storytelling work of Magnum photographers here, or head to Magnum Pro to search and license photos from Magnum’s acclaimed image archive.

CONTINUE TO NEW SITE
SEARCH PHOTO ARCHIVE IN MAGNUM PRO

"One thing that Life and I agreed right from the start was that one war photographer was enough for my family; I was to be a photographer of peace"

- Cornell Capa

b. 1918

d. 2008

Hungarian/American

Estates

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. Capa 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 photographer. 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.

Read More

Selected works

Politics

Cornell Capa Photographs

Cornell Capa

A collection of intelligent, compassionate, formally striking images from the legendary photographer Cornell Capa

Open story

From the Magnum Shop

Most Recent

Current Exhibition
Créteil, France

Magnum in Harlem

Magnum Photographers
Until Jan 27, 2018

Past Square Print Sale

Closer

Magnum Photographers
Jun 5 - 9

Newsroom

JFK for President

Cornell Capa

Arts & Culture

On and In New York: Fine Prints from the Magnum Archive

Magnum Photographers