The exhibition

«If your photos aren’t good enough, you're not close enough»
Robert Capa

A major exhibition dedicated to Robert Capa, the greatest photojournalist of the 20th century, will be held at the Arengario in Monza, from 7th October 2018 through 27th January 2019. In 1947, Robert Capa with Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, David Seymour and William Vandiver founded Magnum Photos.

The exhibition features more than 100 black and white photos documenting the major conflicts of the 20th century personally witnessed by Capa from 1936 to 1954. Having removed all barriers between photographer and subject, his shots portray suffering, poverty, chaos ,and the cruelty of wars. Some of his pictures have now become iconic: such as, the death of a loyalist militiaman in the Spanish civil war in 1937, and the photographs of the landing of the American troops in Normandy, in June 1944.

The exhibition is divided into 13 sections. At the end of this edition, there will also be a brand-new addition, namely "Gerda Taro and Robert Capa", presenting their human story and their relationship. This cameo section features three different shots: a portrait of Robert, a portrait of Gerda taken by Robert, and their ‘double portrait’.


The photographer

Robert Capa (Budapest, 22nd October 1913 - Thai Binh, Indochina, 25th May 1954) is the nom de plume for Endre Friedmann, which he devised in 1936 together with his partner Gerda Taro. He was still young when, after taking part in protests against the far-right government, he left his homeland and moved to Germany. Capa's original ambition was to become a writer, but his job in a photography studio in Berlin brought him closer to photography. Here he collaborated with the photojournalist agency Dephot under the influence of Simon Guttmann. He got his first assignment to attend a conference by Trotskji in Copenhagen in 1932. Following the rise of Nazism in 1933, Capa, who was Jewish, went to France, where he also had difficulties working as a freelance photographer. From 1936 to 1939, he was in Spain, where he documented the horrors of the civil war, together with his young partner Gerda Taro. Helena Janeczek’s novel "The Girl with the Leica" which won the 2018 Strega Prize is dedicated to her. Partly for challenge, partly out of opportunity, the two of them ‘fabricated’ the character "Robert Capa", a renowned but elusive American photographer who went to Paris to work in Europe. With this expedient, the couple multiplied their work assignments. Actually, at the beginning, the "Capa-Taro" brand was equally used by both photographers. Later on, the two split the 'company name' - CAPA - and Endre Friedman definitively adopted the pseudonym Robert Capa for himself. Gerda would die crushed under the tracks of a tank when she was only 27 years old.

Capa then went to China during the resistance war against the Japanese invasion in 1938. After a few months in London, in 1943 he was sent to North Africa. He then followed the landing of the Allied troops in Sicily. The exhibition shows a wide selection of photos taken on the island and while progressing with the American troops up to Naples and Cassino.

Capa then followed the Normandy landing during the famous D-Day, which he extraordinarily documented. The exhibition then shows pictures of the liberation of Paris in 1944, the invasion of Germany in 1945, his trip to the Soviet Union in 1947, the official establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and finally his last appointment in Indochina in 1954, the year when he died after stepping on a landmine.




The venue

Called by Pope Clemente XII to reshape the profile and improve the functions of the Ancona harbor, Luigi Vanvitelli starts in 1732 the leper hospital of the city, a structure in which were a combination of sanitary and defensive functions: he had built a true and proper artificial isle. In November 1736 the isle was ready, the consecutive year it became a warehouse and in the meanwhile the job were carrying on. In May 1738 the perimeter is concluded and the entire building was finished on February 13th, 1743.

At that time the building had principally a sanitary role: the merchandise and the persons were hosted on its inner and started to populate it with vivacity until, on XIX century, predominates the military and defensive role of the building and in 1860 it is at the centre of the battle for the conquest of Ancona.

After that date the leper hospital was entrusted to the Ancona district and became a warehouse: for this reason have been many changes about the proportions of the halls and the doors. It is not over because in 1884 the building assumes the role of refinery of sugar: appeared the smokestack inside the court and with the passing time, after the crisis of the first world war, the district supposes to sale the building to private as an industrial building (metallurgy, container..). Finally in 1927 the building was sold to the state and between 1940 and 1955 the leper hospital became first warehouse of the army then warehouse of crude tobacco. There have been more changes, structural intervention and reshaping in which the Mole had maintained its architectonical charisma.

From Fifties to 1990 there were other structure modifications to increase the capacity of the warehouse until in 1989 the building were entrusted to the superintendence that starts a restoration work in order to recover the principal intents. After few time, the leper hospital has been taken by the Ancona district (1990) that on years, thanks to the support of Cariverona foundation, organized an prudent restoration work for giving back to the building the possibility to host exhibitions, conventions and social spaces.



Robert Capa - Retrospective

From February 16th to June 2nd, 2019

Ancona, Mole Vanvitelliana – Sala Vanvitelli
Banchina Giovanni da Chio, 28

From Tuesday to Sunday: 10 am to 7 pm
The ticket office closes at 6 pm
Closed on Monday
Special opening on Monday 22nd April: 10 am to 7 pm

Tickets (audioguide included)
Full price € 11,00
Reduced price € 9,00 for groups of at least 12 people, non-accredited journalists, holders of special agreements and “From the street to the museum. Works of the Artist known as BANKSY” exhibition ticket holders (Osimo, Palazzo Campana from 29th March to 7th July 2019)
Special reduced price € 4,00 for school groups and visitors aged 6-18 years old.
Free Admission for visitors under the age of 6, disabled people, careers of disabled people, official tourist guide, teachers accompanying school groups, accredited journalists
Open € 12,00, ticket with no fixed entrance date or time valid until the 2nd June 2019

Reservation fees

Guided tours

Information and reservations


Press Office

Municipality of Ancona

Federica Zandri
T. + 39 071 2222321


Barbara Izzo
T. +39 06 692050220

Magnum Photos Parigi

Corinne Nguyen
T. +0033 0153425028

Download the press release

Download the photos' captions

To download images you can visit the site – sala stampa

The info contained in this site shall inure to the benefit of the visitors of the site and the exhibition "Robert Capa - Retrospective" with no further commercial purposes. The images in this site are protected by the Law on Copyright. The use of images and texts contained therein is allowed only for promotion, communication and press office activities explicitly linked to the exhibition "Robert Capa - Retrospective" set up in Ancona at the Mole Vanvitelliana (February 16th – June 2nd, 2019). The use of images and texts is subject to compliance with the prohibition of manipulation and / or alteration of the same and with the obligation to quote the author, the title and the copyright statute.

Mostra promossa da

Organizzata da

In collaborazione con

Servizi educativi

Partner tecnico

Copyright © 2018 Civita Mostre - Credits