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Unpacking the “Mexican Suitcase”: The Mystery of Robert Capas Long-Lost War Trove >

A 1937 image by Ms. Taro of Republican soldier...

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Unpacking the “Mexican Suitcase”: The Mystery of Robert Capas Long-Lost War Trove >.
The mystery of the “Mexican Suitcase” has long had the makings of a fine tall tale. It is a Hemingway-esque story of vigorous expat men and women leading spare and often luckless lives in the midst of the Spanish Civil War, engaging in earth-shaking romances, throwing themselves into the fray with Republican armed forces, and bonding with native villagers. The difference between Hemingway’s yarns and this story, however, is that this one is true. Its protagonists are a small group of scrappy photographers whose work disappeared in 1939 as Nazi forces prepared to invade Paris and remained missing for almost 70 years, until it showed up at New York‘s International Center of Photography.

The 126 long-lost rolls of film feature some 4,500 snapshots of wartime scenes taken by the swashbuckling Robert Capa, the pioneering Gerda Taro, and the compassionate Chim (David Seymour) and are now finally going on display in the form of contact sheets and a digital slide show at “The Mexican Suitcase,” an exhibition curated by Cynthia Young at the ICP that will run through January 9, 2011. The works — which were stored in three cardboard boxes, not in a suitcase, it turns out — had a long and meandering journey to the midtown Manhattan museum, and represent a history that is only now being explained and understood.

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October 5, 2010 - Posted by | art, history | , , , ,

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