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Alternate History: Robert Capa and John Morris (d)

Prior to his centennial confession to James Estrin of the New York Times that our conclusions in this investigation have proved correct in almost every particular, John Morris worked feverishly to cover his tracks. This ill-conceived effort took the form of a series of madcap variations on his original fable of the famous emulsion melt that purportedly ruined Capa’s D-Day negatives. […]

Alternate History: Robert Capa and Magnum (2)

Staking Out the Claim

In his unauthorized, workmanlike 2003 biography Blood and Champagne: The Life and Times of Robert Capa, Alex Kershaw, describing the motives behind the founding of Magnum Photos, wrote as follows:

“Since 1945, Capa had been active in the American Society of Magazine Photographers. He had eloquently […]

Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day (16)

Richard Whelan’s account of Capa’s D-Day films qualifies as neither competent research nor responsible historianship. It constitutes the desperate Hail Mary pass of the terminally compromised and corrupted hireling. A perfect illustration of the dilemma of the bespoke, in-house curator and historian in the employ of the subject, or his or her estate, or some other entity with a vested interest in the outcome of the research. […]

Guest Post 14: Q&A with John Morris (c)

Here is the third and final part of an email exchange between myself and former LIFE picture editor John G. Morris, who assigned photojournalist Robert Capa to cover the D-Day invasion on Omaha Beach, delegated the development of the films he sent back and the making of prints therefrom, and shipped the results to New […]

Guest Post 14: Q&A with John Morris (b)

In “Get the Picture” (1998) and in other accounts before and since, Morris asserts that “A scrawled note (from Capa) said that the action was all in the 35-millimeter, that things had been very rough, that he had come back to England unintentionally with wounded being evacuated, and that he was on his way back to Normandy.” Never reproduced, not even in Morris’s 2004 book D-Day: Robert Capa, which includes much other documentation, this note may be mythical. […]