Travel Photo Thursday — October 24, 2013 — Robert Capa 100 Photo Exhibit in Seoul

Posted by on Oct 24, 2013 in Destinations, Korea, Travel Photo Thursday | 32 comments

Welcome to another week of  Travel Photo Thursday. One of the great things about living within an hour of a world class city is easy access to the fabulous art and photography exhibits that regularly find their way into Seoul. A few weeks ago I made the trip into Seoul to visit Robert Capa 100. This photo exhibit, at Seoul’s Sejong Center, commemorates the 100th birthday of Budapest born photographer Robert Capa. Best known for his war photography, I was surprised and fascinated at how much more there is to his brilliant photography than simply war shots . He was best friends with  John Steinbeck, whom of course he photographed. He was also involved with Ingrid Bergman, who supposedly proposed to him. His war photography is amazing, but my favorite shot at this exhibit was one that Capa took of  Gene Kelly dancing on stage. Photos inside of  the exhibit hall were not permitted, but thanks to the Internet you can see that photo here…Gene Kelly Dancing…I just love how Capa caught the energy and intensity of the moment. I did get some great shots, and you can check them out below.

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This shot of Henri Matisse is on the wall as you walk into the lobby/ticket booth area.

Henri Matisse Shot by Rober Capa.jpg


The lobby where you can purchase Frank Capa paraphernalia, and watch a documentary of his life. I also took advantage of the audio guide, which turned out to be very informative.

Robert Capa 100 Exhibit Lobby


Photo wall in the lobby area…

Photo Wall 100 Robert Capa


I love the entrance to the exhibit area!

Robert Capa 100 Entrance


The exhibit area…

Robert Capa 100 Exhibit Hall


Finally, the man himself. He was handsome!

Robert Capa Photo


You can learn more about this fascinating photographer here, including his only live interview still in existence.


A few years ago I had the pleasure of seeing the work of National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry, in this same location. In case you missed that post, here’s the link.


Travelers Tip

The exhibit is showing at the Sejong Center in downtown Seoul until October 28th. Admission is 13,000W, and is open from 10:30 am to 21:00 daily. Take the subway to City Hall, and come out through exit 1. 


This is the 148th post for Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.


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  1. I must admit that I had never heard of this photographer. I will be having a look at his work.

  2. I have never heard of Robert Capa either. He sounds like he had a fascinating life too with celebrities. I like how they arranged these exhibits particularly that entrance. It\’s very creative.

    • Hi Mary. Yes, it seems like he had one of those “charmed” lives. Although, I’m not so sure that I would want to spend a good part of my like taking photos in war zones!

  3. Fascinating – I am certainly going to go to the net to see and read more about this photographer. I love seeing the works of the past masters of photography. Thank you for bringing him to us.
    I love the way they did the entrance.
    Have a great week, and thanks for hosting.

    • Hi Jill! Capa did lead a facinating life. I think you will like what you find out about him. Simply looking at his photography is inspiring.

  4. I’ve never come across this photographer either, but I’ll definitely be looking out for his work now. How wonderful to be living near to such great exhbitions, Nancie. War photography is so poignant and something that intrigues and devastates me all at once.

    • Hi Johanna, I understand the fascination, but can only take it in small doses.

  5. Hi Nancie, I’m a big big fan of Capa as well as the Magnum Photos that he co-founded. Coincidentally, I’m going to see a similar exhibit tomorrow at International Center of Photography in NYC. The center was founded by Cornell Capa, Robert’s brother, to preserve his works. It’s great to know that his works and story are exhibited throughout the world for the celebration of his 100th birthday. You made me more excited to see the exhibit tomorrow!:)

    • Hi Marisol, Enjoy the exhibit tomorrow. Some of the photos on exhibit in Seoul were from the “Mexican Suitcase”. Cornell was instrumental in finding this suitcase, which contained rolls and rolls of shots taken by Capa, and I believe his longtime girlfriend.

  6. I absolutely love photography exhibits. You just never know what you’re going to stumble upon. Also, photography series and styles vary greatly, even if from the same artist, so I always know I’m going to be mesmerized by what I see. It’s like Robert Capa’s exhibit in Seoul wasn’t an exception!

    -Maria Alexandra

    • I never pass up a photo exhibit. I think that’s the beauty of photography. You can change you style to fit the scene!

  7. What a fun exhibit to visit for one that loves photography! I’m always in awe of the photographers who lacked the modern conveniences we have. As someone who simply enjoys taking pictures, I know if I had to use film, I’d never document as many of our memories as I have.

    I love that photo of Gene Kelly. What a magnificent shot!

    • Hi Tonya, The shot of Gene Kelly made me want to dance. I always took a lot of photos with film. However, much prefer digital. It is so much cheaper 🙂

  8. I’ve never heard of Robert but he sure is handsome.I love photography exhibits and I’m sure this one would have been very interesting to attend.He’s certainly got a who’s who list of subjects.

    • Hi Leigh! I was amazed by the people he knew and considered good friends.

  9. Hi Nanci from Down Under! Finally back in the land of functioning internet so between outings in Sydney I promise to visit some of my fellow blogger’s sites – I’ve missed everyone! Nice photo story you did today!

    • Hi Jackie…nice to have you back. Enjoy Sydney and Australia. Looking forward to reading about your downunder (is that a word?) adventures!

  10. You blog is one of the few that I can access from Tibet. I am reading it instead of looking at the Potala Palace out the window. This photography exhibit is fantastic. He truly captures the essence and personality of the subject. Since I have a difficult time doing that, I admire him all that much more.

    • Hi! That’s awesome that you can read my blog from Tibet. I wonder why I am the only blog you can access…that is kind of strange. He really was a photographic genius. I wish I had time to go back to see the exhibit a second time, but no such luck!

  11. Nice that you could attend this wonderful exhibition — I would love this. That’s a very interesting tidbit about Ingrid Bergman. I wonder if it’s true.

    • Hi Cathy. Apparently, they were involved. Whether the proposal is true or not I have no idea. It does add an element of intrigue to his life 🙂

  12. I’d never heard of Robert Capa, but I’m reading about him now – he has some amazing photos.

    • Hi Jess. I love his work. I toured the entire exhibit twice. Finally had to leave to catch my train!

  13. Lovely Exhibit. Love the photography too. The war photography is always so interesting, particularly looking back on in history. I always try to see exhibits like this when I’m traveling or even when I’m home.

    • I never pass up a photography exhibit. I don’t think I have ever been to one that I didn’t like.

  14. I know I have commented already but I just wanted to come back and say thankyou for this – I looked him up in images on Google – fantastic – now I want to buy a book. I am really fascinated by conflict images and images of every day life – particularly old images in black and white. Thank you.
    What a shame he died at 40!

    • Hi Jill, Nice to hear that you are enjoying is work. Yes, he was a talent that was lost way to early!

  15. In Korea, are they as anxious about people taking photos in museums, galleries, etc. as they are in NA? I’ve not been able to even bring a camera to galleries in the past few years because your bag gets searched on entry and most places now post guards in every corner of the gallery. It’s actually rather silly if you think about it.

    Nice photos. I love the entrance through the camera; that’s a nice touch.

    • Hi Sharlene,

      Most of the museums in Seoul will have photo op spots set up. The photos I took here were all in designated spots, except for the one with the people viewing the exhibit. Had I gotten caught I would have been chastised :)Usually, no issue with taking a camera in. I notice Koreanas snapping with their phones. Now, if I did that the guards would probably say something. The guards seem to look the other way when the Koreans snap. 🙂

  16. What a great post! I always wanted to be good enough to be a Magnum photographer – what an amazing group of photographers and Capa was one of hte best! I hope this show travels to some places where I get to see it! (Sorry about the late comments – I’m on the road and a little disorganizaed!)

    • Hi Cindy! Yes, the Magnum Photographers are a talented group. Glad you enjoyed the post, and dropped by!


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