Transcript:

Speaker I didn't know Bob that well, but but his influence was whenever you were in Paris, there was something happening there and he was very well connected with.

Speaker OK, everybody is still. Sorry, sorry, we're a little.

Speaker We should let's let's back up.

Speaker Yeah, with some of what you were saying when I first came in. Yeah, about like the waves. Yeah, well we are. Are we really all right?

Speaker Well, basically, I came to Magnum really full time in 1952 and I didn't get to see a lot of Bob Cappa. I had met him very marvelous Kappus kind of situation.

Speaker He had come to New York and whenever Bob Katter was in town, everything stops at the other magazines and the people life all congregated around him. And he was about to go to photograph skiing in the French Alps for Holiday magazine. And it was a wonderful character who is a photographer at life who, like most photographers, wished he were Bob Capa.

Speaker But he came pretty close and in many ways that was Elliott Elisofon. But Elliott was not about technique. He really believed a lot in it. And he said to Bob, you can't go photograph the French Alps with with just a camera. He says, you know, the sun is so bright and the snow is so white and the shadows are so black. You need to use Phil and Flash. And I'm sure Bob was sort of stunned because he never used artificial light. And Elliott says, no, that's the best way. And I have just the person to teach you all about it. And at that time, I was an assistant for all the life photographers and I was in charge of their studio and all their lighting. So Elliott set up a drink date at the famous bar across from the old time life building called the 3GS. And we went there and I and he he introduced me to Bob. And I was a little. Overwhelmed, but he put me at ease right away, but then I started explaining how you open the shutter and the flash goes in between the time the shutter is open and at the time the shutter is closed and you have to calculate the artificial light to match the regular light. And I looked up and Bob was sitting there and his eyes were totally glazed over. And I said, You're not really interested in this. He said, no. He says, but you ought to think about coming to Magnum. And that's how I met Bob. And I saw him several other times in Paris. And what do you think he saw?

Speaker Well, I'll tell you what, he at that time, Magnum, was five photographers or six photographers and and he had an idea that it had to be bigger. And Eric Hartman once said to me, you know, he asked me to come in and I could see that he was saying, well, he's not very good now, but we can whip him into shape. And I think that may be part of it. And also the part that that I came highly recommended from Elliott and then.

Speaker The point is that, you know, we talk a lot now about collateral damage, I'm a beneficiary of collateral construction. A lot of the things that Bob Kaplan did or what he or who he was or his ethos about how to live and do things was like a rock being thrown into a pond. And it had waves that went out and out and out. And they influenced all the years, you know, he died in 1954 and the influence of him is still. The influence of who he was is still incredible in Magnum, and just this September 11th, the Magnum photographers in North America had a meeting on the 10th of September in New York about the usual nonsense that we have meetings about. And everybody went home. And the next morning was a disaster at the World Trade Center and everybody headed down there on their own. There was no calls from my editors. There were no assignments. It was just there. It was there. And you had to do it. And a Magnum photographers went down by bicycle. They walked down. Susan mysel actually wrote her bike down and Larry tão walked down. And Steve Steve McCurry took his wire cutters and cut his way through some cyclone fences to get there. And when they got back. Looking at all the pictures, Tom Hopkirk, who is the vice president of New York, now acted. He's not at all like Bob Capa, but he act that he is focused like Bob Carroll was. And he says, I think we have a book. And everybody was sort of dismayed. We never published a book. We didn't know how to do a book. And he took it in hand and and we got to a distributor to help us with it. And we got designers and we did. And Tom did the initial layouts himself at home on the computer. And all of a sudden here we were competing with as as Bob had dreamed 50 years ago, competing with time, life only as Time Warner, AOL Ted Turner now and as to get a book out at the down time and the fact that they did so well and the book is so moving and so, so good is is really a tribute to his vision of Hogar, first working on their own, being independent of editors, owning their own material, being able to do what they believe with it. And it sort of justified for those of us who I've been there 50 years and they've not been all easy years, there have been difficulties. And there you pay your dues all the time and all of that. And it seemed to me that the fact that this came out so well was a total justification for all the 50 years I spent there. And I think it wouldn't have been done without the spirit of Bob Cappa over the whole thing. And what you mentioned earlier that those you know, well, the first thing is that he founded Magnum. So that Magnum could be independent of editors. He hated to have to go to editors and convince them to do something. He wanted to be able to see something that he thought was important. He thought we all should see things that we thought were important and go on our own and do them, and that the quality of the work would be good enough to for us to use it. And the other ethics was I think he invented the idea of photographers owning their own negatives so that they can sell the pictures to more than one magazine at a time. I'm sure somebody has told you of of how he took the name Bob Capa. And and that's because he was trying to convince European editors he was American and he's trying to convince American editors he was European and but he would take things that we did in Paris and he'd hand carry them to London and he would sell them to the English magazines. And then the idea just grew to have a whole European world wide distribution. And that's part of the efforts. The other part of the efforts is you never fake anything. You never I mean, there's a certain morality about doing things and doing them straight. And that ad grew from Bob, but it also grew from the other founders. I mean, Henry is Cartier-Bresson is is absolutely puritanical about that. And the other thing, the things that belong to his ethos is he really believed in having a good time. I mean, he he was you know, there are a lot of photographers that that try to get close to celebrities so that they can photograph them. Bob was the kind of person that celebrities try to get close to him because it was nice to know him. And I mean, and he was terribly generous about these contacts. One of the wonderful stories I think about, Bob, is that there was a wonderful Albanian born photographer who was a star at Life magazine, who was a friend of all of ours named John Meely. And John was in France with Bob and they were in the south of France. And John, who specialized in strobe lighting at the time, had a marvellous idea for doing a picture of Picasso, but he couldn't get to Picasso. So Bob, who could get a Picasso called Picasso and said he was coming that day and he he drove the car and Picasso and Picasso greeted him. He says, I'm just the chauffeur. This is my friend John, really. And he's going to take the picture. And he took one of the marvelous pictures of Picasso. And that was a very typical gesture for all his people say he created his own. Character, you know, he he's a. But if he did, he used. He created a character that took advantage of all his innate qualities. I mean, if you had written a character like Bob Cappa and you knew him, you'd say the perfect person to play this role is Bob Kapa. So it is true. He created his own person, his own persona. But but he fit it. He had the charm. He had the guts. He had the bravery and the direction and the focus and the belief. And I mean the images, the few images I have seen of him, of sitting at a poker table with a cigarette dangling from his lips or leaving to go to the races. And and and he established a kind of equality in that Paris office.

Speaker And then when we opened the New York office, New York has been struggling for years to find somebody that give that kind of panache here. But one of the great stories of that time was the first photographer that was that was not one of the four founders that they brought in was Verner Bishoff from Switzerland. And Verner had done several stories. And then Bob had this idea that different photographers should be responsible for different areas of the world and he assigned Asia to Verner. So Verner was off in Asia and he photographed the classic book on Japan. And then he had gone to India and he photographed the famine, which was very hard on a photographer, especially somebody with the kinds of sensitivities of Werner. And he decided he wanted to come home after several months. And he sent a telex to our Paris office asking for five hundred dollars airfare to come back. Now, our Paris office was in an apartment on the phone warsan on a rate slightly illegal. I mean, the French, it was not zoned for an office, but we had. A bureau chief and we had a bookkeeper whose name was Madam Prell, and she was a classic bookkeeper, kind of parchment skin and hair in a bun, and she she wore paper cuffs so that she wouldn't stay in her dress. And she wrote our statements out on flimsy yellow paper and all very long classical European handwriting. And then the statements came to us and they were held together by straight pins.

Speaker It's hard to believe that now that we have all the computer worldwide. But Madame Prell was one one employee there and the other employee was Miss Your anger, who was who had survived the war. And he used to go around to the newspaper offices. He had very heavy glasses and he carried a briefcase. And in the briefcase, he'd have all the pictures that Magnum wanted to sell that day and maybe his lunch or a couple hard boiled eggs. And that was the the entire Paris office. So when Verner sent a telex saying that he needed five hundred dollars to get home, that Madame Paral sent them italics back, saying, I'm sorry, we don't have five hundred dollars. And Verna was furious and he wrote a letter in which he said, I know we have five hundred dollars because I did this story in this story and this story, and they were all paid before I left. So I have that much credit. And and he was quite irate. And then I saw Inga. Bondie brought it to my attention once in the files was Bob's answer to Verner. He said, Dear Verner, of course you're right. You do have five hundred dollars. We have one small problem. Madame Pröll has taken a lover and Monsieur Ranja has started to go to the races every day. He was just projecting his own virtues on these two wonderful older people and and he was able to diffuse a lot of of the problems that would grow up in an agency.

Speaker And and running an agency is not complicated. It's not simple. And and the idea that we would let Bob down has has been one of the things that has held us all together.

Speaker So dear Captain can send the five hundred dollars.

Speaker Well, somebody sent the five hundred dollars because Werner got home. It does. I don't feel that I'm responsible for the entire details of all these stories. I'm just dipping into the mythology of Magnum. One of the punchline. Yes.

Speaker Let me ask you a couple of questions that have come up. What you've been talking.

Speaker Yeah. You were talking about this debonair.

Speaker Yes, naledi. And and I think it would be nice to say how how the name of Magnum came to be.

Speaker I think they decided Magnum, because it was Bob decided it was the name of a bottle of champagne. I think that was the decision. I was not there when they decided. So I'm not sure. But it's entirely consistent with Bob. And I think that's that's at least that's the basis of all our celebrations when way back it was a long time ago, I won the University of Missouri School of Journalism award for the Photographer Magazine Photographer of the Year, which is a pretty prestigious award in our field and.

Speaker I had it was in 1959 or 1960, but I still have a lamp made out of the jawbone bottle of champagne at the Magnum, people sent me for that. And I think that's that's really where it came. But, you know, I said the. The September 11th is one example of how Magnin has grown from Bob's idea, but I'm. On April, a book of mine is coming out that was done in 1959, and that is another exact example. I mean, I only did it because I was thinking of Bob, and that was in and New Year's Eve of 1959. I was at a very fancy black tie party and it was at a newspaper man's home. And and somebody from the Times had called and said that Battista had fled Cuba. And I had had lots of contacts with people like Herbert Mathewson and about going to Cuba. And so I just left the party and I borrowed money from everybody there. I changed clothes. I didn't think of dinner jacket was appropriate for a revolution. And on my way to the airport, I stopped at Bob's brother's Cornell's apartment and Cornell was president of Magnum Land. And he woke up all the people in his building and they borrowed whatever money they could. And I flew off to Miami just before midnight on New Year's Eve. And I was lucky enough to find somebody that would fly me in a small plane to Havana DAYBREAK. And I went into Havana with just with no credit cards, with about 400 dollars in cash and no idea what I was going to do. But I knew there was a story there. You know, you don't landed at the airport and say, take me to the revolution. It doesn't happen like that.

Speaker So but I spent the next 10 days with with Fidel Castro. I went up to the mountains and found him and came down from the mountains and entered Havana with him and spent the next ten days. And it's one of the classic stories I've ever done. And it was done totally without backing, totally without assignment, totally without direction. And it was it was a dream. And it was it was the whole idea of what capital had implanted in me that drove me to do that and enabled me to do it because I'm not a crazy guy. Usually I really like to have people say we'll pay you to go there.

Speaker But I, I felt we had to. And that was like September 11. And I'm sure there are a lot of other examples. And Magnum history.

Speaker I wonder, was that what was it about Kafka's legacy that impelled you to take that risk and to go that?

Speaker Well, because that's what he said. That's what we should do. If you see something that's important, you should go and you should do it. And don't worry about editors because photographers know better than editors. Tell the story. Oh, dozens and dozens of times, but it it you know, it ran piecemeal around the world until we gathered it together again for this book and exhibit. But but not only did I sell the story, we had an exhibit in Havana. On January 1st this year, when we decided we were going to do the book and the minister of culture came and evidently he said something because the last day we were there, my son and my wife and I were invited to a three hour session with Fidel Castro personally. And we had my eight and my nine. And he's now 19. He was an 18 year old son who didn't have that much regard for the kinds of work I did was really impressed because Fidel said to him, he says, well, you don't have a drink, let me make you a rum drink. And he gave them a drink of rum and a cigar and and he spent three hours talking to us. And when I tried very hard to think of what I could send him, that I would that would show the kind of feeling I had about that. I sent him Bob's book, The Heart of Spain, because I thought it's the same people that fight the same battles over and over again. And do you mean death in the making? No, there's there's a book that he is now that that they did called Heart The Heart of Spain, I think. I I am pretty sure it's called the heart of Spain, there's a movie called The Heart. No, this is this is a book. I wouldn't send Fidel a movie. He probably doesn't own a projector. Yeah, right, yeah, and and over the years is as I can't explain to anybody how complicated it is to run a cooperative with people of different income levels and different. Approaches to photography, although there is kind of a basic Magnum documentary approach, but how difficult it is to keep it together and to keep people on on a productive keel. And a lot of that comes from just our regard for for the founders, for Chhim and Hornery and George, Roger and Bob. And the idea of the founding, although there were four founders, the impression is that the that the engine for the founding was Bob Cappa, that he was the one that says, I don't want to have an editor telling me what to do. I want to cover it myself.

Speaker And it.

Speaker It has lasted 52 years, you know, we've been engaged in in conflicts with huge publishing houses and huge publishers, and they're not publishing life anymore. But Magnum's still here. They're not publishing look anymore. You can call yours anywhere. We never thought we could take them on, but we did. And we're still here. And we're still here because.

Speaker You can see there are a lot more photographers now. There about 45 or 46 at but you you can see the line from what Bob and those guys did at the beginning to what they're doing now. And that's important in that. And we feel that we're the keepers of certain flame about keeping the integrity of the images. The most important thing now that there's digital photography, the idea that that you can joke around with a picture and make somebody it's it's like it would be the dream of the old Soviet Union, you know, all those pictures on the top of Lenin's tomb that they'd have all the politbureau and then want to drop out and they'd have to take him out. And you could see the the retouching all around. Well, now they could do that without any trouble. I mean, they just the point is that that each of those people brought a personal point of view to this. And if you look at the book or if you look at the exhibit, it is not any of the specific pictures that have specific information. It is just a total. Surrounding of of of the scope of the disaster and and the terrible things that happen, it's not just a record, it's an emotional record. And somebody said to me, well, some of those the other books or record of the event and the Magnum book is poetry.

Speaker And I think I hope that's true. But we often just to talk about Magnoli, Bob has been a great influence on generations of photographers and their non-magnetic photographers that tell me all the time, you know, that one of his famous quotes, if the picture isn't good enough, you're not close enough. And I remember several times one of the great temptation is when you were in a situation that is fluid and not firm and not fixed and you're going down a road and you think maybe there will be some action down there.

Speaker And the easiest thing in the world is to convince yourself that the odds are not so good. I think I'll go back to the hotel that day. And that was the other thing that Bob taught me. He says, when you started down a road, go all the way down, sometimes you'll find nothing and sometimes you'll find everything there.

Speaker And that was a very important maxim to follow. And but there are. There are dozens of photographers who became photographers because they thought they could become Bob Kafka and nobody could become Bob Cabana, it was one of the valuable things we learned at Magnum. We look every year at portfolios of new photographers from all over the world and.

Speaker You can't be another Cartier-Bresson or you can't be another cappa, we look for your own individual stamp to be on the picture and the I think of all the times when I met people who said, oh, you were with Magnum and you must have known Bob Capa. And most of them most of the evening was then spent on Bob Cappa. That's true with John Houston. It was with Irwin Shaw, was true with Peter Viertel, Rollman Gary, who wrote that movie in which Eddie Albert played the photographer, which was based on Bob Cappa.

Speaker And I think the movie is called The Roots of Evil.

Speaker I'm not sure.

Speaker To find out about that, yeah, Eddie Albert, he played a photographer. I mean, it was based on the cappa thing. I always felt Robert Kaplan, if he was going to be played by an actor no actor could do justice to, but it would be. And very few people get the reference would be Francis Lederer, who was a Hungarian actor who looked a lot like Bob Carver with a big heavy Hungarian eyebrows. And the Catholic family was always very important in Magnum. I mean, Cornell devoted so much. I mean, Cornell is is as remarkable as Bob in his own way.

Speaker The idea that a man with no money and no position and really not a lot of money at all could found a museum in New York that would turn out to be the International Center of Photography is such an incredible achievement. You know, he wasn't a Whitney, he wasn't a Guggenheim. But but he came up with a museum and a mission that was important to him. And he was incredible. And when I was first an assistant at Life magazine, the one I worked with most was Cornell. And when Cornell went off to to London to be the Life magazine photographer in London, they had a party going away party on the Queen Elizabeth or whatever Queen was in vogue at that time.

Speaker And I went to the, you know, helped them get all his bags on. And he and Eddie and I were there. And Julia, who is the mother of Barbancourt now, she was there and Cornell started to introduce me, said Julia. She he said, this is Bert Glenn, who is my assistant. And Julia said, and I I am the mother of all the Kapos.

Speaker So she was a very strong woman.

Speaker What was your impression of her?

Speaker Well, she she she was not easy to deal with, especially after Bob died. It was such a blow to her.

Speaker And but.

Speaker I remember taking I had done a story on John Houston.

Speaker And John was.

Speaker Adored Bob, and he and Irwin Shaw wanted to make a movie of Bob's life and I and they John was in New York and I was with him and I took them over just to meet with Julia and Cornell. But Julia had such firm ideas about what should be said about her dying Bob that I think it discouraged the idea. Nobody wanted to cross swords with Julia. There was too much respect for her.

Speaker So the movie was on hold all the time. But I think Peter Viertel wanted to do a movie. I think there are a lot of people that wanted to do a movie because he was a movie.

Speaker You know, how do you know these movie people?

Speaker He I'll tell you what.

Speaker He he knew them from he he was in Europe. He was in Paris at a time when movies were being made there. And he was the kind of character that seemed to be drawn. He decided that one of the ways for Magnum to make money is to take pictures of movies.

Speaker And I remember he he got several of US jobs with Sam Spiegel ego. Morath once did a terrible Sam Spiegel had two careers. He had a terrible career first, and then he did all those marvelous things like the African Queen and. When he was when he was in London, Bob got Ingomar at the job for him, for her to photograph one of his movies and he was a great friend with first place. He was Hungarian, you got to understand. And Hungarians had a great contact with the movie somehow. And he was a great friend of Anatole Litvak. And Litvack was a key to that. And it was through through Litvack there that I was introduced to spend two days on the set of Gregory Randolph making a movie of King Farouk in which Sidney Chaplin played Nasser. It was it was it was such a surreal experience. But a lot of experiences that grew out of your relationships with Bob were very surreal.

Speaker And but Gregory had the reason he was making the movie is he founded an Egyptian millionaire that wanted to make the movie you as a sort of tribute to Nasser. But the the Egyptian millionaire had never made a movie before, so he showed up every morning on the set for the mob with the money for that day shooting. So we were everybody was in tension because they didn't know if they were going to be shooting the next day. And Gregory spent a lot of money on caviar because he felt every scene with him as Farrukh ought to end with him taking a great glob of caviar and being very regal and swallowing it all.

Speaker And later.

Speaker I have done stories where I had no idea of the connection, but I once did a story on a very large and important industrialists in Europe and with a with a writer, we were invited to dinner and the secretary took us aside before and said if. The wife comes in, don't mention you were with Magnum. It seems that this very powerful man always went off skiing with Bob in the Alps and they met beautiful young girls and she was not too pleased with that. So it wasn't an unmixed blessing, but it was funny all the time.

Speaker I noticed this one of your first assignments when you were lagging, was this an article about clusters?

Speaker Yes, I'm going to go to shoot there. Love you to talk.

Speaker Yeah, well, actually, yeah, actually, I. I hadn't. That was my first European assignment. Well, first one thing that's kind of interesting. One of the things that there is when he when we opened the New York office, he came and he made contact with Frank Zachery, who is the art director of Holiday magazine, and he came up with the idea to do this story. Generation X, which was all the children that were born since the atom bomb had fallen. And it was it was such a good idea. But it also involved the fact that you'd have to have about 20 photographers working in different places of the world who he came up with that idea to keep Magnum going. But he made a friend of Frank Sakari, who's remained loyal to Magnum all 30 years that he was at holiday after that.

Speaker And Frank had called me in and I had not had many assignments. It was very early on and. He was my first assignment in Europe, is he he sent me to do Klosters and everybody at Magnon told me, well, it's cappa territory, you know, and you got to call home school homes to chase a Gershuny and they will put you up there.

Speaker And it was my first introduction into the glamorous world of Europe, the kinds of people that Bob knew. And there were lots of beautiful women there. And it was a very interesting assignment for a young photographer. And it started me. I did a whole series. I did a lot of work for Frank Zachery and I it I got my first assignment because I was with Magnum and eventually I got to do entire issues of Holiday magazine for five years. I did the October issue from cover to cover, and my dear departed mother, who was an upwardly mobile member of the left wing, was not ever terribly impressed with my career as a photographer until she picked up a copy of Holiday magazine and she opened it. And on the title page, you said all the photographs in this issue are taken by Burt Glynne and then all of a sudden photography became more acceptable. Her first reaction when I told her I was going to be a photographer. A photographer, why? We don't know anybody. We can't help you. I said that's why.

Speaker And tell us about how about clusters but closer relations? Look, Bob's relationship with Coaster's is. Is that what?

Speaker OK, OK, sorry, one more time.

Speaker Yeah, what I just started, it was really well, Bob's relationship with closer's is that he'd been there several times and he'd found that the most amenable place for his lifestyle and all and and Irwin Shaw had a chalet there and Peter Viertel had a chalet there and all his friends were were there all the time. I ran into John Houston there and his wife and an old acquaintance of mine who was a writer of movies and named Harry Kurnitz. And he wrote funny movies. He wrote A Shot in the Dark and things like that. And Harry was a very unglamorous looking Hollywood writer. You a very Jewish looking. And he would sit in the bar at The Chaser all day and have drinks in. Some of these pretty girls would come up to him and say, Mr. Kurnitz, why aren't you out skiing? And Harry said, It's against my religion. I'm an orthodox coward. So and it was those kind of connections that were there. I think the most important connection was Irwin Shaw.

Speaker And Irwin really adored Bob.

Speaker And we spent a lot of time talking about them. And and and they had they were a couple of reprobates, you know, they were of like mind and like soul. And the same is true of John Houston. They were not very predictable people. But the movie people always were very interesting to work with. I never liked working on movie sets, though, because you're really. Extra, however good the photographs you take, they're not as important as losing one day's shooting time on the movie. So I always had a sense of proportion about it that other photographers didn't have. But but I worked with some very interesting people. And the fact that that I had this tenuous connection with Bob was a very important part of it. I mean, was a little of the glamour wiped off? Not the looks, but. Oh, I see, yeah, um, the other thing I must say about Coaster's is, is that closer's was kind of a village compared to some aretz, which was where Bob was also very well known at the palace and which I did a story on later. But that was sort of more elegant. There was a lot of black tie dinners and things like that. Closer's was informal and fun and high schooler who owned the chosen Christian who was very jovial host. And you had a great time there. I did, anyhow. And I wasn't much of a skier.

Speaker Well, we hope to have a good time there. Did you? Oh, yeah.

Speaker I guess these were the times, you know, but I don't think you saw him in the hospital and he was having his back.

Speaker No, I, I, I was in London. And one of the things that happened when Bob was in town, people gathered around him, you know, and I was in London and I didn't see him that time.

Speaker But the managing editor of Life had flown in and that life had an office on Bond Street then. And he came into the office and nobody was there because they were all visiting Cappa in the hospital who had a back problem. But Bob did have a back problem. He he had to have treatment on the back a couple of times when I knew him.

Speaker And but but the thing that was interesting is here was this big mogel, you know, the managing editor, the boss of all the people with life. And he was he had come into town and he had to go see them all at Bob's the hospital room, because that's where they are all congregated.

Speaker And what was it about him that people felt like that he was very quiet.

Speaker Yeah, but there was a kind of you know, there was a kind of flame underneath. He was quiet. But, you know, one of the things you knew is you knew the kinds of risks he took and you knew how spontaneous he was about enjoying life and that the people that lead ordinary lives are drawn to people who are willing to say, well, one of the stories about Bob is the first year we had the New York office was one of the few years that Magnum had shown International had shown a profit for the year.

Speaker And he came to New York for New Year's and he decided we ought to have a party at the Ritz and the profit was gone.

Speaker And that's Bob. And I think that's what what drew people to him.

Speaker You would give it all. Yeah. Yeah, I've heard that over and over.

Speaker Yeah. You do know much about Bob's experiences in Hollywood and. No, I don't. OK, know, you mentioned to join on for something about Princess Wilhelmina.

Speaker Yeah, well, that was the the story about the. The industrious industrialist was the.

Speaker Prince Bernard, and they said, if I don't think you ought to put this in, take this out of the tape, but I wanted it to be anonymous. But the secretary of Prince Bernard said if the queen comes to dinner, don't mention Magnum.

Speaker Why?

Speaker Well, because Bernard and Cappa were were kind of drinking and skiing buddies and in the Alps and and they they probably had cut a wide swath there. And and knowing the European gossip columnist, I'm sure it was reported so that she didn't want to bring up the subject of that. Well, I shouldn't mention Magnum, so I wouldn't get anybody on the the subject of Bob Kapa.

Speaker Not work. Well, I don't think I don't think wives. Except.

Speaker When they were involved with Cappa, really appreciated and fully.

Speaker Well, because he he he was always saying, let's have a drink, let's go out, let's do this, let's see this one. And he he wouldn't have been a very solid family man.

Speaker You think that's why you never.

Speaker I think he does. I didn't know him that well to be able to say that. I mean, there's a lot of talk about he was so devastated by Gerta being killed in the Spanish war, but I think he loves the chase too much to get married. I mean, he had so many girlfriends and they were all so interesting that I think. He would think two or three times, although I understand he wanted to marry Pinkie, who I never met, except I read about and I've seen pictures of her.

Speaker Yeah, yeah, I said think of it the other way around. She wanted to marry him.

Speaker Well, I think there was Jamie in New York and there were there were times when it was discussed, I'm sure. But but our relationship was not such that he said, I think I'm want to get married. What do you think?

Speaker Right now, I'm interested in Cappa as a mentor and his relationships with former bishop and those ties that you witnessed that or know about that, about the relationship with Bishop and Earth hot?

Speaker Well, the the what I know, I you know, I knew Verner fairly well. And it was amazing when Verner first came to mind when he was a very Swiss photographer, you know, he did wonderful pictures of seashells, lit beautifully and and used a large camera. And Cappell kind of loosened him up and he was on his way. And then Cappa send them to to Asia. And when he you know, he was in a totally different photographer when he came back, totally different. And I had never seen the two of them together urged.

Speaker I had you know, I had aunts came to Magnum.

Speaker With anger in Gomorra, they were working together, I believe it must have been in Munich because they were working for an American publication, American Army publication called Oita or Today. And Enga wasn't a photographer, and she was she just had a job. And she was sort of shepherding Ernst was around and Ernst. Was wet, and she was the one that brought Ernst to Paris and met Bob, and it was then, I believe I'm not the Stephen Ambrose of this situation, but but I believe that she they she came to to Paris to show the pictures that Ernst took of the Russian prisoners that were coming home from the from the Russian prison camps. And in Vienna, the mothers were holding pictures of to see if their sons were still alive and they came to Paris for that. And then I was just the ideal personality for MacNamee.

Speaker He was he was also poetic and he also was very attractive to women.

Speaker And Ernst was much more facile talker than than Bob. But he loved to laugh. And and Bob made them laugh and and and also asked at that time, he could use a kind of older mentor that had been around the ropes. And somebody you know, when arts came to New York, he knew nobody that through Cappa he met life and he was able to do those great color essays that life. And and as I say, Bob was very generous with the context that he made and and got other people to do the work.

Speaker Do you think it was important to, uh, Bob, have to bring in.

Speaker Yeah, I think that was part of his part of his life. The idea that he found good people and that that they brought something to the agency and to the group and that there were special and Ernst was certainly very special. And I think he took great pride in that, and I mean, because once they established Magnum, they could have all held it for themselves, you know, and and I think there was a reluctance to allow the second generation to buy stock or anything. But eventually we all got into it and I think not. I think all the technical problems about who should buy stock and what the stock should be worth and all that was more the province of Chhim, David Seymour. And I think Bob was the one that saw the excitement of the photographer.

Speaker But was there something about Capra that made people that brought out their best friend, the best in people?

Speaker Depends on which people, yeah, talk young photographers she has, because he was a non-threatening mentor, he was a non-threatening model in the sense that, you know, I was always sort of.

Speaker Very nervous about showing my pictures to Hornery because I thought onWe would be very stringent, you know, Hornery looks at your contact sheets and Bob wasn't like that.

Speaker He was more interested in what you were interested in.

Speaker And I think it was I think the actual structure of my opinion about how you structured it and who owns stock and who did that and all of that was more in the domain of Chhim. But between Jim and Bob, the one of the most important things they did is when they came to New York, they they were friends with the American.

Speaker Industrialist's, I guess you would call a named Henry Margolese on the Bulova watch company at the time, I guess they were going to be friends with them because during the war and when and when they came to New York and wanted to start Magnum, he said he had a young lawyer and he introduced them to Howard Squadron. And Howard, who just died for 50 years, was our lawyer.

Speaker And he was really an incredibly important part of Magnum, talking about the people that Bob knew in the Met in the war. He in Paris, he was he had covered the liberation and right after the war in Paris or a lot of young American officers there, and they got to be friends with two brothers known as the Stanton Brothers, Art and Frank Stan. And the these guys were looking for things to to buy and to become the agents of that were European. And they would be the American representatives of it. And they thought they had a big deal on Swiss cuckoo clocks.

Speaker And they got the franchise for a German automobile that had never been produced, but it was called the Volkswagen.

Speaker So they became incredibly wealthy very, very quickly. And they did the kind of thing that that Americans who who have those appetites about Europe do. And they they they bought themselves. Arthur bought himself a martyr, marvelous apartment facing the park Monceau. That was a former Rothschild apartment. And since they were there very much, they told Bob, use it all the time, you know, so and we all went to Paris Chhim or Bob or Richard Avedon at times. And we were all in in residence at at Arthur's apartment. Now, Arthur had a Moroccan butler named Israel who would meet you at the train and take care of you. And it was a bar there and it was very elegant living. I had in part was able to do there once or twice. And one day Arthur decided he had to go to Europe, to Paris for a trip.

Speaker So he called the apartment and Israel answered. And Arthur said, Israel, he says it's Mr. Stanton. And there's a long kind of silence. He says, I don't know Mr. Stanton. I own the apartment. And he said, Oh, yes, he says he says he says, I think I'm coming to Europe next week, get the master bedroom ready for me. And Israel said, I'm sorry, Mr. Stanton, but Mr. Kappa's in the master bedroom. And he says, well, get the second bedroom. And he says, Mr. Stanton, one of Mr. Kappa's friends, is in the second bedroom.

Speaker And this went on for a little while. And finally, Arthur, who's Nicole it was and who's making the call? He says, get me Mr. Kapel on the phone. And Israel was sort of hesitant to interrupt, but he went got Bob Katter on the phone and Arthur was waiting at New York and steaming away. And all of a sudden the phone was picked up. And there's this charming Cabarrus voice saying, Arthur. He says, do not worry. We have found an elegant suite for you at the Lancaster Hotel.

Speaker That is cappa. That's good.

Speaker Yeah. Why don't you tell us about the picture behind you? You. No, I won't look at it.

Speaker I know it, but I know it very well.

Speaker I'm one of the things that Magnum was kind of tied at because we were founded in 1948 and Bob was really involved in covering and photographing the founding of the state of Israel. And he was there a lot. And Jim was there a lot. And in. I had been they had gotten me several assignments to work for Al and different people there, and I had been to Israel two or three times. And in 1956 I wasn't living in New York, I was living in Seattle, but I was in New York. And the the radio after midnight at this little hotel was all full of the fact that there had been an attack on the Suez Canal and that there was a war going to happen and in in Israel. And I had just come back from an assignment for El Al Airlines. So I called the public relations director of Hell Island and we called them into getting me a seat on the next flight to Tel Aviv. This was before there were jets and it was not an easy thing. And everybody was rushing to go home to Israel and. As a matter of fact, Life magazine later hired me to be there to cover the war for them, mainly because I had the seat on the airplane. Nobody else could get a seat. It was all sold out. But when I got to Israel, it was my first war experience. And one of the people that that I knew fairly well was a marvelous, great war correspondent named Homer Pigott, who was at that time was for The New York Times. He had been a New York Herald Tribune correspondent, and he and I had gotten along very well. And he had known Kabba from the early days and 48 there. And he had been very, very helpful to me. You know, I met I met him and had lunches with him and things like that. And when I landed in Israel, I, I, I was really groggy. And it was the war was over practically. We didn't know that. But it was a six day war. And we got there on the third day and everybody wanted to go to the Suez Canal. It was very funny. It was it was a war that the British loved to cover. And the British press was all there and they were all clamoring to get to the Suez Canal because a byline on the Suez Canal probably did very well in London. And we were sitting there and I never forget one of the I have a photograph somewhere in my files of the desk at the Dan Hotel where there's a big chalkboard and says all correspondence on the Suez Canal to pick up their package lunch at the front desk. And and Homer said, we don't want to go to the Suez Canal. And I said, we don't. And he says, no, we don't want to go. So they dropped their first. They finished there. They're on their way back. Let's look at a map and figure out where they are not and where they haven't come yet. And we'll meet them there. So Homer and I. Got a driver named Shlomo, which is a terrific name for a taxi driver to take us, we decide Homer decided that Gaza hadn't been liberated and that would obviously be a next target. So we got Shlomo after much cajoling and guaranteeing that if anything happened to his taxi cab, we'd buy him a new one. We went driving down to go to Gaza. And what we completely lost track of was the fact that we were driving in a Tel Aviv taxi with Israeli license plates and Hebrew writing on the side. And we were driving through the Gaza Strip. And what we we should have known because the Israeli army was coming from the south and we were coming from the north and we were in Arab territory all the way. And and once we were stopped and Holmer said, I think we ought to get out of the car, you know, there might be trouble here. And we were surrounded by people and they were all trying to sell us souvenirs. It was in the middle of a war and they were trying to sell cigarette lighters with NASA's picture on it. And there's a little boy who had a terrible shattered rug and he had very bad eyes the way some Arab kids suffer from. And he was holding up this rug and Homer patted him on the head and he says, son, he started a little he says, son, it'll never fly. So but we got back in the car and we drove into Gaza and the Israeli troops were coming up from the south and we were coming in from the north. And there wasn't a lot of fighting in Gaza, but there was a lot of capturing of people. And this was happened to be the first interrogations that were going on. And and this was a very tough Israeli camp captain that was not being very gentle. I I don't I think the Americans could use them in Guantanamo now. So just very quickly, who are the characters? Well, we we had come in to the town and and there were a lot of Egyptian soldiers were still around and they were surrendering in droves and they were put out behind barbed wires. And in this garage like place of the Israeli intelligence had gathered some local residents who they think had ties to the Egyptian army and they were being interrogated. And this captain was running the interrogation. And all these people were sitting on the floor with their hands up against the wall, except the one that was being interrogated that was standing up and talking to them.

Speaker I just editing in my head probably. Oh, yeah. Like 40 seconds to describe. Yeah. Just give us a little encapsulation of the people this very short.

Speaker All right. It's a captain in the Israeli intelligence who is questioning civilian captures in the capture of Gaza. And and he's trying to find out.

Speaker As much as you can't, like most intelligence officers do.

Speaker That's great. Yeah. And you see any influences in this photograph?

Speaker Well, it was yeah. I wouldn't have been there if it wasn't for the capture influence. And and the fact that that that Holmer helped me and brought me down there, it was was also a connection to Bob and the idea that, you know, you just go until you find the pictures. This is what happened. This was what was their.

Burt Glinn
Interview Date:
2002-01-20
Runtime:
1:02:35
Keywords:
None
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
cpb-aacip-504-h707w67v4h
MLA CITATIONS:
"Burt Glinn, Robert Capa: In Love and War." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). 20 Jan. 2002, https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/1128
APA CITATIONS:
(2002, January 20). Burt Glinn, Robert Capa: In Love and War. [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/1128
CHICAGO CITATIONS:
"Burt Glinn, Robert Capa: In Love and War." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). January 20, 2002. Accessed July 02, 2022 https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/1128

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