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Imaging Resource unpacks the mystery of Robert Capa's 'Mexican suitcase'
Imaging Resource has published an interesting article by Steve Meltzer, which examines the mystery of the so-called 'Mexican suitcase' - a long-lost collection of images taken by the late Robert Capa.
Before escaping Europe ahead of the Nazi invasion of France, Capa entrusted a large number of negatives to a friend for safekeeping. The collection went missing, and was presumed lost for decades until being identified in Mexico in 1995. Robert Capa's brother, Cornell Capa, finally got to see the long-lost negatives in 1997 - forty three years after his brother's death.
|One of the 4500+ images found in the Mexican suitcase, this shot shows a Republican soldier carrying a wounded boy in Teruel, Spain in 1937. Photo © International Center of Photography / Magnum|
The negatives in the so-called 'Mexican suitcase' were from Capa's coverage of the Spanish Civil War. He travelled to Spain in 1936 and shot hundreds of rolls of film during the conflict, which these days is relatively little-known outside Spain.
At the time, thousands of young people from all over Europe joined the socialist Rebublicans in a doomed effort to stop General Franco's Nationalist forces - who were militarily supported by the Nazis - from taking control of the country. Among Capa's companions were author and correspondant Ernest Hemingway, and Gerda Taro - a young photographer with whom Capa had a passionate relationship before she was killed in 1937, while covering the Battle of Brunette. British author George Orwell was also among the anti-Franco combatants (although he later became a fierce critic of Soviet Communism).
|Capa (right) and Gerda Taro, in Paris in 1935. Capa and Taro worked together as photographers during the Spanish Civil War and had a passionate relationship until she was killed in 1937.
Photo © International Center of Photography / Magnum
The contents of the 'Mexican suitcase' are now in the hands of the International Center for Photography, in New York. They comprise more than 4500 images on 126 rolls of film. You can learn more about the story of the long-lost suitcase on their website.