Robert Capa: Photos at the Risk of his Life
The exhibition showcases 120 of the 985 works the Hungarian National Museum acquired in 2008 from the New York International Center of Photography. These include the famous wartime photo reportage that Capa produced throughout his life — of the Spanish Civil War, the Sino-Japanese War, the Second World War (North African Front, Allied Landing in Normandy) and the Indochina War in Vietnam. Another part of the exhibition features portraits of celebrities from that epoch — Ingrid Bergman, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and others. And finally a special section of the exhibit consists of photographs Capa took during his trip to the USSR. Capa visited the Soviet Union in 1947 with his close friend the writer John Steinbeck, and the results of this journey were published in the book ‘A Russian Journal’. ‘He could photograph motion and gaiety and heartbreak. He could photograph thought. He captured a world and it was Capa’s world,’ recalled Steinbeck.
Robert Capa, real name Endre Friedmann, was born in 1913 in Budapest. In 1931 he arrived in Berlin and started to work as a darkroom assistant with the Berlin photo agency Dephot. After Hitler came to power, Capa was forced to leave Germany, and for a while he travelled across Europe. He went to Vienna and then Budapest before finally settling in Paris.
From 1936 onwards, the young photographer made frequent visits to Spain on assignments for the Leftist French weekly Regards and documented the events of the Spanish Civil War. There he took one of his most celebrated photographs, Death of a Republican (also known as The Falling Soldier) in 1936.
After achieving recognition in France, Capa left for the USA. During the Second World War Capa acted as photo correspondent for LIFE magazine. In 1944 he was the only photojournalist to document the landing of Allied troops in Normandy. Capa also photographed military operations in England, North Africa and Italy, dispatched photo reports on battles in the Ardennes and the Liberation of Paris, and toured the devastation left in Germany. In 1948 he photographed the Arab-Israeli war.
In 1947 Robert Capa founded the Magnum agency, together with Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour, George Rodger and others. Today it is one of the most famous photo agencies.
Robert Capa was killed on 25 May 1954 by a landmine explosion in Indochina, where he had gone on assignment for LIFE magazine.
Since 1955 the Overseas Press Club of America has awarded the Robert Capa Gold Medal to photojournalists on an annual basis, for the best camera reportage produced in dangerous conditions.
Open until July 19, 2015.
Opening hours: midday – 9 pm every day, closed on Mondays
Address: 16 Ostozhenka Ulitsa
Ticket price: 500 roubles