Gerda Taro, A Forgotten Pioneer

Photograph of female soldier by Taro
Taro with soldier on the front line

The Mexican Suitcase exhibition at the International Center for Photography features the work of three accomplished photojournalists.  Two of them you may have heard of before—Robert Capa and Chim (David Seymour).  But the third — Gerda Taro — has the most compelling story. Born in Germany in 1910, she left the country just prior to the emergence of the Nazi Party and was arrested in 1933 for distributing anti-Nazi propaganda.  Soon after she met Capa and traveled with him to Barcelona to cover the civil war. She is regarded as the first female photojournalist to cover war on the front line and she took some amazing pictures, including the first image above of a female soldier in training.  Despite her romance with Capa, she rejected his marriage proposal and remained a fearless, independent woman until her untimely death at age 27 when a tank collided into her car during battle. As one journalist eloquently put it: “In the years following her death her lover - and fellow photographer - Robert Capa would be proclaimed 'the greatest war photographer in the world'. She'd become a mere footnote in his story.”  Sadly, the exhibition doesn’t sufficiently address Taro’s background and trailblazing career.  I’m not sure if she has a large enough body of work to warrant a solo exhibition, but I think that would be a fascinating show.

1 comment:

  1. I would love to know more about Gerda Taro too...