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Unpublished pictures of the Spanish Civil War by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and ‘Chim’ on show in Barcelona

The photography exhibition shows the pictures that were found in the so-called ‘Mexican suitcase’, in which original films by Capa, Taro and Seymour had been kept for decades. The exhibition displays not only pictures from the Spanish Civil War, but also the negatives and the manner in which photographers worked. Since the suitcase kept the original films, the contact sheets can be displayed and thus the photos are shown in the order they were taken.

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06 October 2011 03:24 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The pictures by Robert Capa of the Spanish Civil War are some of the world\u2019s most famous from the 20th century. In 1995, a suitcase was found in Mexico with 126 original films, unveiled, by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and David Seymour \u2018Chim\u2019. It is known as \u2018the Mexican suitcase\u2019, and it kept films saved from the Nazis by Tchiki Weiss in 1939. However, the suitcase had disappeared from 1939 to 1995. Now the 70 pictures out of the 4,500 pictures from those films can be seen at the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), in Barcelona. Many of those pictures are unpublished. Photography admirers should make an appointment to go and discover how these photographers, who later founded the Magnum agency, worked. The exhibition \u2018The Mexican Suitcase\u2019 (\u2018La Maleta Mexicana\u2019) not only shows pictures, but also how Capa, Taro, and \u2018Chim\u2019 worked, since negatives and contact sheets are also on display. Cynthia Young, curator of the exhibition, explained that \u201Cthe cooperation between the photographers is very well reflected\u201D in the suitcase\u2019s contents. The exhibition will run from this October 6th to January 15th 2012.


The MNAC, in co-production with New York\u2019s International Center of Photography (ICP), shows the content of the \u2018Mexican suitcase\u2019, the pictures of the Spanish Civil War taken by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and David Seymour \u2018Chim\u2019 for the first time in Spain. Capa left Paris in 1939, just before the occupation by the Nazis of the French capital. He left 126 films in his studio containing 4,500 photographs taken in Spain between May 1936 and March 1939, most of it corresponding to the Spanish Civil War. Tchiki Weiss, who was also a photographer and was Capa\u2019s assistant, transported the photographs to Bordeaux by bike. His aim was to send the pictures to Mexico by ship. However, the material was considered lost from 1939 until 1995, when it reappeared in Mexico. In 2007, the negatives arrived in New York, at the ICP. There, they have been documented and exhibited from September 2010 to January 2011. Now, the images are back in Spain and are displayed at Catalonia\u2019s National Art Museum (MNAC), in an exhibition organised in 32 different areas, showing how the three photographers worked. In addition, there are captions by Fred Stein picturing the three photographers in Paris.

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  • 'Republican soldiers', picture taken by Gerda Taro in June 1937 in Cordoba's war front (International Center of Photography)

  • 'Republican soldiers', picture taken by Gerda Taro in June 1937 in Cordoba's war front (International Center of Photography)