Tribute To Gerda Taro

comments 7
Photography

Did you see this image of Gerda Taro, who was featured in Google search page on 31 July?

Google commemorated her as the first woman photographer to cover the front lines in a theatre of war.

Taro worked alongside Endre Friedmann covering the Spanish Civil War, and together they submitted their war photographs under the pseudonym Robert Capa.

Following Taro’s death in 1937, the photos from both of them were assigned to Friedmann, who by then was going by his adopted name of Robert Capa.

In 1947, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and David Seymour founded Magnum Photos, which is, I guess, the most respected photo agency worldwide.

Because her photos and Robert Capa’s went out jointly under that name, no one knows for certain which were hers and which were Capa’s.

But there are photographs of her taken by Capa.

One in particular shows her bent down, leaning back against the rocks, next to a soldier and with her head back and laughing as though through sheer exhilaration.

There is another photo of her with the soldier, taken moments before or after – and in that they are both crouched forward – so I have to imagine what took place between the photos to bring about that expression. Maybe the bullets whizzed over their heads. Who knows.

Taro was born Gerta Pohorylle in Galicia in an area that now straddles Poland and Ukraine. Her family moved to Germany and she was arrested by the Nazis for posting anti-nazi leaflets. On her release she left for France and worked at Alliance Photo as a picture editor.

She got accredited as a photojournalist and went to Spain to cover the civil war. Taro’s death at 27 is very sad. While covering the war, she was sideswiped by a tank as she was standing on the running board of a vehicle.

7 Comments

  1. Fascinating, really. Thanks. Just imagine how many millions of us must have seen that image of her used by Google and known nothing about her. Wow.

    Like

  2. Joan E. Miller says

    Wow, what a kick in the head! Who knew Robert Capa was a woman! I’ve seen that name for decades. I saw that Google artwork but didn’t read about it. Thanks!

    Like

  3. Pingback: Gerda Taro Book In Waterstones Bookshop – Photograph Works

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