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The Daily Need

The Mexican Suitcase

Gerda Taro in Spain, July 1937

She is not a household name, but she was a pioneer. Gerda Taro is often called the first female wartime photojournalist and was the first female journalist to die during battle at just 26 years of age (some say 27). In 1937 she was in a fatal tank accident while covering the Spanish civil war. Her work is part of a striking new photo exhibit at the International Center for Photography called the Mexican Suitcase. It is the story of 4,500 images of the Spanish Civil War that went missing. After many twists and turns, they were donated to ICP. The photos were taken by photographers David Seymour (who went by the moniker ‘Chim),’ Taro, and her lover, the famous photographer Robert Capa, whose pictures of D-Day are iconic. And while Capa’s images are more well known, Taro’s are equally dramatic.

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