The legend of LIFE contributor Robert Capa, the 20th century’s pre-eminent war photographer, begins with his instantly famous photos of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) – pictures whose negatives were believed lost for 70 years. This cache of historic film, known as the “Mexican Suitcase,” was smuggled out of Europe early in World War II, then lay hidden and forgotten for decades. But now, new prints from the Suitcase negatives will go on display for the first time, in an astonishing exhibition opening September 24 at New York’s prestigious International Center of Photography. In this gallery, see some highlights of the collection – gripping shots taken by Capa (and his colleagues, Gerda Taro and David “Chim” Seymour) – and learn how this holy grail of war photography was lost and finally found.
Here a pre-view: