Robert Capa: Close Enough


11 June – 10 July


The depiction of conflict has profoundly influenced the visual language of photography, both the approach to subject matter and through the evolution of related technologies. First recorded on film and circulated through illustrated magazines and television imagery, the front line experience was recorded and shared. More recently social media platforms and digital cameras have made that sharing shockingly immediate. Photographic images of war continue to shape our visualisation and our understanding as well as opening up wider apprehensions around the engagement in conflict.

The central piece in this exhibition is Capa’s original Leica camera which he used to take his earliest photographs. Exhibited for the first time in Wiltshire, the camera offers a rare insight into Capa’s image-making process and forthcoming extraordinary photographic journey.

A further highlight of the exhibition, and of considerable historical significance, will be the display of a group of Capa’s iconic photographs taken on Omaha beach during the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944. Only 11 images survived from numerous rolls of the film Capa exposed due to a darkroom accident during processing and these surviving negatives have become known as ‘The Magnificent Eleven’. The exhibition will showcase six of these extraordinary images which provide unique documentation of the event. The press preview for the exhibition will take place on 6 June 2022, the anniversary of this momentous event.

‘If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.’  Robert Capa

Photographs of anonymous soldiers and civilians will sit alongside portraits of luminaries, such as Trotsky and Steinbeck. Close Enough highlights the inclusive nature of Capa’s work encompassing as it does the suffering, tenderness, humour – and wonder – of the human condition.

The Kogan Collection is one of the largest private collections of conflict photography in the UK and has, to this date, never been shown. David Kogan OBE, historian, journalist and former Magnum Photos CEO, started this collection 20 years ago, with a particular interest in significant events of modern history and their photographic documentation. With more than 350 prints dating from 1895 to 2015, a group of 800 vintage NASA photographs, first and limited-edition photography books, Life, Picture Post and Time magazines and artefacts, the Kogan Collection offers the immediacy of first-hand documents of history, as well as an in-depth and comprehensive view of the history of photojournalism and documentary photography in Europe and North America.

Photo (above right): Robert Capa, Leica II Mod. D, 1930
Capa’s first Leica
Illustration by courtesy of Messums/the Kogan Collection