King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at NYU to Exhibit the Spanish Civil War Photographs of Agustí Centelles


The exhibit features photographs taken during the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1936) and Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), and subsequently at the French concentration camp in Bram, by a celebrated Catalan photo journalist.

King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at NYU to Exhibit the Spanish Civil War Photographs of Agustí  Centelles
Militiamen in Barcelona preparing to leave for the Aragon front (August 1936).

A photo exhibit curated by Joaquín D. Gasca and Michael Nash (NYU Tamiment Library) and organized in conjunction with the Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica (Historical Memory Archives), Salamanca, will be displayed at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at NYU from Wednesday, October 5, to Saturday, December 17.

This exhibit features 40 photographs taken during the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1936) and Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), and subsequently at the French concentration camp in Bram, by the celebrated Catalan photo journalist Agustí Centelles. All of the photographs are being exhibited for the first time, in conjunction with the parallel exhibit at the Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica in Salamanca, which recently purchased Centelles’ archive.

When Centelles returned to Spain during World War II to escape persecution by the Gestapo on account of his work for the French Resistance, he left his photographic archive in a suitcase in the attic of a friend’s house in Carcassonne. During the Franco Dictatorship he was not allowed to practice photojournalism and devoted himself to advertising. In 1976, after Franco’s death, Centelles went to Carcassonne to retrieve the suitcase, where his negatives had remained intact – a story reminiscent of the recently-discovered “Mexican Suitcase” of negatives by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and Chim exhibited at ICP in 2010-2011.

The exhibit includes the dramatic photographs Centelles took in Barcelona shortly after the military uprising of 18 July 1936, his photo-reportage during the war, and his extraordinary photographs taken in Bram concentration camp where he was interned on crossing into France.

A parallel exhibit of original copies of international magazines that featured Centelles’ war photos will be on show in NYU’s Tamiment Library, 10th floor, Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South.

Inauguration of the exhibition, with remarks by curators and organizers, will take place Wednesday, October 5, at 6:15 p.m.

 Co-sponsored by the Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica (Ministerio de Cultura – Gobierno de España) and NYU’s Tamiment Library. With the support of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA).

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