ICP 40

The International Center of Photography (ICP) is shortly celebrating 40 years of its existence, when Cornell Capa with the aid of Micha Bar-Am opened its doors on New York’s Fifth Avenue. It has grown over the years, and moved – and as an interview in the Lens Blog with executive director Mark Lubell, the former director of Magnum Photos, tells us, is moving again, though to an as yet undisclosed location. The opening of the ICP was actually on November 15, 1974 and you can see some pictures from the Founders Scrapbook.

Its history really begins earlier, when Cornell Capa set up the ‘International Fund for Concerned Photography‘ in 1966, and set up the exhibition and 1968 book, ‘The Concerned Photographer‘, featuring the work of six photographers, first shown at the Riverside Museum in New York. Four had had their brilliant careers cut short by early deaths while working, Werner Bischof in a car crash in Peru in 1964, Cornell’s brother Robert Capa killed nine days later by a land mine in Indo-China, ‘Chim‘ (David Seymour) in Suez in 1956 and Dan Weiner in a plane crash in 1959. Cornell in his introduction stated that ‘as brother, friend and colleague’ of these four men he had ‘become deeply involved in the fate of the work that a photographer leaves behind.’ Also included in the book was the work of two then still living photographers, André Kertész and Leonard Freed.

It was a  book that had a great influence on photographers when it was published, and is still worth reading and studying today, a fine tribute to those included. The book sold well, at least in the USA, and is still available second-hand at a sensible price, though postage from the USA sometimes costs several times as much as the book. The printing, harsh by today’s standards and with strong blacks, suits most of the work well. A second volume The Concerned Photographer 2, published in 1972, featured the photographs of Marc Riboud, Roman Vishniac, Bruce Davidson, Gordon Parks, Ernst Haas, Hiroshi Hamaya, Donald McCullin and W. Eugene Smith.

The Eye of Photography (L’Oeil de la Photographie) devotes it’s issue today to the 40th anniversary of  ICP, ”A mythical institution.’



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