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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Set Date for Paris: Mexican Suitcase European Tour

The International Center of Photography Launches
Mexican Suitcase
European Tour
Exhibition travels to Arles, Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris through 2013
New York, NY (July 7, 2011) — A traveling tour of
The Mexican Suitcase, a groundbreaking exhibition
revealing the most famous group of recovered negatives of the twentieth century, launched July 4 as the
centerpiece of Les Rencontres d’Arles in France. It will Mexican Suitcase European Tourbe on view at Arles until September 18, 2011. The
Arles festival also premiered
The Mexican Suitcase on July 5, a film directed by Trisha Ziff.
Considered lost since 1939, the so-called Mexican Suitcase is in fact three boxes containing 4,500
negatives documenting the Spanish Civil War by Robert Capa, Chim (David Seymour), and Gerda Taro.
There are also several rolls of portraits of Capa and Taro by Fred Stein. Besides offering new images by
these major photographers that provide a comprehensive overview of the war, the cache of negatives
also includes previously unknown portraits of Ernest Hemingway, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Dolores
Ibarruri (known as “La Pasionaria”).
“Capa, Chim, and Taro risked their lives to witness history in the making and show it to the world, and
the Mexican Suitcase contains some of their most important works. Its recovery set in motion a profound
shift in the study of these three photographers,” said ICP Assistant Curator Cynthia Young, who
organized the exhibition, which was on view at ICP’s midtown galleries from September 24, 2010 to May
8, 2011. “The material contained in the Mexican Suitcase documents a turning point in the history of
In the process of researching the negatives, the authorship of numerous images by Capa, Chim, and
Taro has been confirmed or reattributed. This material not only provides a uniquely rich and panoramic
view of the Spanish Civil War, a conflict that changed the course of European history, but also
demonstrates how the work of these legendary photographers laid the foundation for modern war
photography. Appearing throughout the international press, their innovative and passionate coverage of
the war was both engaged and partisan. While overtly supporting the antifascist Republican cause, their
dramatic photographs vividly recorded battle sequences as well as the harrowing effects of the war on
The exhibition received high praise from reviewers and visitors alike as it provides a glimpse into the
photographic process that few see. As a review of the exhibition in
The New York Times stated, “They
were also committed to a new style of wartime journalism, which found photographers embedding
themselves right in the center of combat and shooting, rapid-fire and up-close, everything around them.
This total immersion, made possible by increasingly hand-held cameras, generated huge numbers of
images. And that’s what you get in this show: hundreds and hundreds of tiny pictures lined up edge to
edge on contact sheets to create a display of a kind that museumgoers rarely encounter but that
photographers see all the time: squint-inducing, unedited, in progress.”
Confirmed venues for the traveling exhibition include:
Rencontres d’Arles Photographie
, Arles, France: July 4, 2011 – September 18, 2011
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
, Barcelona, Spain: October 6, 2011 – January 15, 2012
Circulo de Bellas Artes
, Madrid, Spain: July 15, 2012 – September 30, 2012
Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme
, Paris, France: February 27, 2013 – May 26, 2013
The Mexican Suitcase
catalogue, which recently won the American Association of Museum’s Frances
Smyth-Ravenel Prize for Excellence in Publication Design, accompanies the exhibition and has been
translated into French and Spanish. The English version is available through ICP’s online store at
About ICP
The International Center of Photography (ICP) was founded in 1974 by Cornell Capa (1918-2008) as an
institution dedicated to photography that occupies a vital and central place in contemporary culture as it
reflects and influences social change. Through our museum, school and community programs, we
embrace photography’s ability to open new opportunities for personal and aesthetic expression,
transform popular culture, and continually evolve to incorporate new technologies. ICP has presented
more than 500 exhibitions, bringing the work of more than 3,000 photographers and other artists to the
public in one-person and group exhibitions and provided thousands of classes and workshops that have
enriched tens of thousands of students. Visit for more information.# # #

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