Celebrating the centenary of the famous Hungarian war photographer
"If your pictures aren't good enough, you weren't close enough." Endre Friedmann, who became known to the world as Robert Capa, was hardly 22 when his passionate photo reports about the Spanish Civil War were first published. He wanted to be as close as possible to the horrors of the battle to record the war period of the 30s and 40s. Born in Budapest on October 22, 1913 Robert Capa would be 100 years old this year.
Commemorating the centenary, the Robert Capa Photo Exhibit at the Hungarian National Museum presents the work of the world's greatest war photographer. The photos on display were selected from the Robert Capa Master Collection, purchased by the Hungarian State in 2008 from New York's International Center of Photography. The 160 images exhibited include some of the photographer's famed war photos as well as photos of Capa himself. Visitors can get to know Robert Capa as a person, war photographer, correspondent and hero through vintage prints. During the exhibit Capa photos will also be displayed in subway cars on line M3.
Capa originally wanted to become a writer. That the world remembers him as a great photographer is perhaps only by accident, or as he once said "the result of some necessity". He left Hungary in 1931, at the age of 18, to study journalism in Berlin. In 1933, he had to leave from Germany because of the rise of Nazism. He returned to Budapest for a short time before moving to Paris that same year. In France he found it difficult to find work as a freelance journalist, so he turned to his hobby: photography. He changed his name to Robert Capa in 1934 (his nickname was 'cápa', shark in English) in the hope that an American-sounding name would bring him more success in selling his photos. He got his first assignment shortly after and the rest is history. He became one of the most famous photographers and photojournalists of the 20th century, covering five wars. Robert Capa died on May 25, 1954 in Vietnam while documenting the First Indochina War for Life magazine. He is buried at Amawalk Hill Cemetery, New York.
The Robert Capa Photo Exhibit is open from Sep 18, 2013 to Jan 12, 2014 on the 2nd floor of the Hungarian National Museum.