Most of us in the West — even Western Europeans — simply have no idea of what it has meant to be Eastern European in this century, for even those who lived there are only now able to acknowledge it. There’s a long period of reeducation ahead for all of us; and the paper trail we’ll have to follow is strewn not only with sheets bearing the written word but with photographs of all kinds, like these. […]
[Shortly after the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, then a relatively new museum specializing in photography, announced an ambitious plan to bring together the works of dozens of eastern European photographers in a massive group show the next summer.
I’d met Charles-Henri Favrod, founding director of […]
Capa’s two photos have become iconic images symbolizing inertia, fear and even the failure of nerve of the common soldier on the beaches of Normandy. What a travesty that these men who made decisive contributions to the success of the campaign, despite every danger and hindrance, should have become poster boys for lack of resolve under fire. And all as the result of a caption that told the wrong story. […]
Since Capa himself provided no notes for his D-Day images, captioning them was left to those who had never witnessed an amphibious assault, much less the Omaha Beach landings. When LIFE’s editors added a caption that was accurate in the macro sense — but wholly inaccurate for that particular scene — they condemned this photo to misreading for decades to come. […]
The Metropolitan Museum has behaved like the latter in regard to photography, with the result that it has become so irrelevant and useless that it is in imminent danger of becoming completely divorced from the living medium. Unless the museum decides to take immediate steps to rectify this, it might do well to consider the possibility of turning its holdings over to any one of several other institutions which would be capable of treating them with the respect they deserve — and proud to do so as well. […]