Imaging Resource unpacks the mystery of Robert Capa’s ‘Mexican suitcase’


Imaging Resource has published an interesting article by Steve Meltzer, which examines the mystery of the so-called ‘Mexican suitcase’ – a long-lost collection of images taken by the late Robert Capa.

Before escaping Europe ahead of the Nazi invasion of France, Capa entrusted a large number of negatives to a friend for safekeeping. The collection went missing, and was presumed lost for decades until being identified in Mexico in 1995. Robert Capa’s brother, Cornell Capa, finally got to see the long-lost negatives in 1997 – forty three years after his brother’s death.

One of the 4500+ images found in the Mexican suitcase, this shot shows a Republican soldier carrying a wounded boy in Teruel, Spain in 1937. Photo © International Center of Photography / Magnum

The negatives in the so-called ‘Mexican suitcase’ were from Capa’s coverage of the Spanish Civil War. He travelled to Spain in 1936 and shot hundreds of rolls of film during the conflict, which these days is relatively little-known outside Spain.

At the time, thousands of young people from all over Europe joined the socialist Rebublicans in a doomed effort to stop General Franco’s Nationalist forces – who were militarily supported by the Nazis – from taking control of the country. Among Capa’s companions were author and correspondant Ernest Hemingway, and Gerda Taro – a young photographer with whom Capa had a passionate relationship before she was killed in 1937, while covering the Battle of Brunette. British author George Orwell was also among the anti-Franco combatants (although he later became a fierce critic of Soviet Communism). 

Capa (right) and Gerda Taro, in Paris in 1935. Capa and Taro worked together as photographers during the Spanish Civil War and had a passionate relationship until she was killed in 1937.

Photo © International Center of Photography / Magnum 

The contents of the ‘Mexican suitcase’ are now in the hands of the International Center for Photography, in New York. They comprise more than 4500 images on 126 rolls of film. You can learn more about the story of the long-lost suitcase on their website



“thousands of young people from all over Europe joined the socialist Rebublicans in a doomed effort to stop General Franco’s Nationalist forces – who were militarily supported by the Nazis”

Why didn’t you mention the fact that the “socialist Rebublicans” were militarily and politically supported by the Soviet Union? Quite a few of those “young people” ended up being executed by Stalin’s commissars.


The ICP had an exhibition of these in NYC a little while ago. It was fantastic because they showed prints along with entire contact sheets and his handwritten notes, so you could see everything he shot and how he marked it up to pick the frame he wanted to print.

There is also a documentary film of The Mexican Suitcase, but I haven’t seen it yet.


To be really superficial, I think the name “Cornell Capra” is pretty cool :)


Sydney. if you think Jessica`s st0ry is unbelievable… on saturday I got McLaren F1 after bringing in $6032 thiss month and-over, ten/k last-munth. it’s certainly the most-comfortable work I’ve had. I began this three months/ago and practically straight away began to bring home more than $79, per/hr. I follow the details here,,

Source Article from

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone