The Mexican Suitcase: WSJ’s Lost Luggage

The Mexican Suitcase, a terrific exhibit at the International Center of Photography, features 4500 photos (rediscovered in 2007) from the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War by legendary shutterbugs Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and David “Chim” Seymour.

As the hardworking staff noted. Four months ago.

The Wall Street Journal – Hallelujah! – has finally caught up:

Mishandled Baggage Arrives 70 Years Later

The good news:

What assistant curator Cynthia Young and her team have done with this material in less than three years is valiant. Along with reprinting a select group of photographs from the negatives for an exhibition, ICP has published a two-volume catalog of wide-ranging essays by 22 contributors. Maps track movements of the photographers year by year. All 4,500 negatives have been reprinted as contact sheets and annotated.

The bad news, according to the Journal:

The only flaw in this ambitious plan is that the contents of “The Mexican Suitcase” are not very arresting, at least not as photographs. Where is the dazzle promised in the title, with its film-noir overtones of secret riches? The media build-up may leave some ICP visitors feeling as let down as Kasper Gutman and Joel Cairo were on finding that the black bird in “The Maltese Falcon” was not studded with emeralds.

Regardless, better late than never.

But better never late.

The exhibit runs through May 8.

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