© International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos
Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center
Robert Capa, the Photojournalist, the world’s first permanent exhibition of Robert Capa’s life’s work, has opened in the new exhibition space of the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center!
In 2008, the Hungarian State purchased the Master Collection III series of 937 images, making Budapest, alongside New York and Tokyo, the most important custodian of the Capa legacy. The agreement on the purchase of the Robert Capa Collection in Hungary stated that the collection should be housed in its “permanent home”, a photographic center to be established for its research and exhibition.
The Robert Capa Center for Contemporary Photography (Capa Center for short) was established in 2013, with the main task of promoting the purchased collection through exhibitions, events, and publications, as the trustee of the Robert Capa photographs. In addition, in the exhibition space on the first floor, a permanent exhibition of the André Kertész collection from Szigetbecse is on display and in addition regularly changing contemporary photography exhibitions present the artists and trends in Hungarian and international photography. In the event hall, a variety of photographic events (lectures, workshops, portfolio consultations) take place.
On 13 June 2023, the world’s first permanent exhibition of Robert Capa’s life’s work, Robert Capa the photojournalist, opened in the new exhibition space of the 10th anniversary Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center.
The unique exhibition presents about 138 photographs from the series, including many that have become iconic, and explores the major stages of the photographer’s life, arranged according to the themes defined by the oeuvre. Robert Capa’s work is important because of the profound impact his images and attitude have had on the public, forever changing the norms of photojournalism, and contributing to the understanding and remembrance of history.
Robert Capa lived only 41 years. Born Endre Friedmann in Budapest on 22 October 1913, he died on a landmine in the Indochina War 1954. on 25 May
His name is among the first and best in the history of photography. The war correspondent, who had seen five battlefields, made his mark in his tragically short life: his photographs of the front and the rear created a school and renewed photojournalism. He photographed the war, the fighting, the soldiers in the trenches and the everyday life of the hinterland from the position of a participant observer, with boundless compassion. He was there with the soldiers; he was in the middle of the action and he documented the events in the immediate vicinity of death. It was this proximity, this participation, that recreated the genre of war photography. As his famous quote goes: “If your pictures are not good enough, you were not close enough”.
Robert Capa had a major impact on the photojournalism profession and war photography. His images and work have inspired and continue to inspire generations. The ethical principles and dedication that Capa embodied have remained important pillars of the photojournalism profession ever since.