Monday, January 4, 2010

Cornell Capa: Photographer of the week

"One thing that Life and I agreed right from the start was that one war photographer was enough for my family; I was to be a photographer of peace."

Cornell Capa was born Cornell Friedmann to a Jewish family in Budapest. In 1936 he moved to Paris, where his brother Andre (Robert Capa) was working as a photojournalist. He worked as his brother's printer until 1937, then moved to New York to join the new Pix photo agency. In 1938 he began working in the Life darkroom. Soon his first photo story - on the New York World's Fair - was published in Picture Post.In 1946, after serving in the US Air Force, Cornell became a Life staff photographer. After his brother's death in 1954, he joined Magnum, and when David 'Chim' Seymour died in Suez in 1956 Capa took over as president of Magnum, a post he held until 1960.In 1974 Capa founded New York City's influential International Center of Photography, to which for many years he dedicated much of his considerable energy as its director.
Cornell Capa coined the term “concerned photographer.” His own photographs throughout his lifetime remained true to that mission. His respect for humanity and his desire to help better the world through photography was reflected in his images. He photographed missionaries and poverty in Latin America, and covered politics throughout the United States, including his classic studies of Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy. The lyricism of the Bolshoi Ballet, and the quirkiness of American and British life found their way to Capa’s camera; and his documentation of old age in America showed us that photographic images have the power to change the way we look at the world.

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