© Robert Capa

Holiday Special Envoy

In 1951, Deauville was one of the most prominent and popular destinations in France.

The seaside resort attracts an international clientele thanks to its casino, its parties glamorous and its horse races, as well as a bourgeois population fond of sea bathing and activities on its boards. Celebrities rubbed shoulders with families. Robert Capa, famous photojournalist who had covered the Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy six years before, arrives in August for a report for the American magazine Holiday. With its dazzling colors and very pop, this magazine made dream its readers who perceived it as a true hymn to life. Holiday has collaborated with some of the best photographers of our time and has thereby won over over a million readers.

For this report, Robert Capa is responsible for taking the photographs and writing the article. The text is joyful, light and undoubtedly exaggerated, but revealing of his qualities as a storyteller. Beyond the leisure and entertainment of high society in Deauville, he was also interested in social mixing, in what he describes as “the rich and the poor playing side by side”. The report includes several hundred photos archived today at the International Center of Photography from New York. Twenty-three were exhibited in Deauville in 2011 on Les Planches between June and September.

"In the evening at the casino, in the clubs, in the restaurants, you only see the rich, the upstarts, the desperate bourgeoisie, the playboys, the pinups and the professionals. In the afternoon at the racetrack, everyone is there again, this time with the locals, and almost the entire population of Trouville, (…) The racetrack is democracy, real. "

Robert Capa was born in 1913 in Budapest, under the name Endre Friedmann. He moved to Paris in 1933 where he met other photographers: André Kertesz, David Seymour (nicknamed Chim) and Henri Cartier-Bresson. He photographed five wars: the civil war in Spain (1936-1939), the Chinese resistance to the Japanese invasion (1938), the second world war in Europe (1941-1945), the first Israeli-Arab war (1948) and the Indochina War (1954) where he died after setting foot on a mine on May 25, 1954, at the age of 40.


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