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Hungarian photography featured at Warsaw National Museum

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/06/2017 By VANESSA GERA, Associated Press
Visitors get a preview of a new exhibition at the National Museum in Warsaw featuring 150 years of Hungarian photography, in Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday June 7, 2017. Hungarian photographers were among some of the leading practitioners of the genre throughout the 20th century, and include figures such as war photographer Robert Capa and Brassai, who are featured in the show. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) © The Associated Press Visitors get a preview of a new exhibition at the National Museum in Warsaw featuring 150 years of Hungarian photography, in Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday June 7, 2017. Hungarian photographers were among some of the leading practitioners of the genre throughout the 20th century, and include figures such as war photographer Robert Capa and Brassai, who are featured in the show. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland — The National Museum in Warsaw is staging a new exhibition featuring the works of Hungarian photographers, who were among the most prominent practitioners of the genre internationally in the 20th century.

Most of the celebrated Hungarian photographers made their names after leaving their homeland, which was riven in the last century by wars, massive territorial loss and the extreme ideologies of fascism and communism.

Legendary war photographer Robert Capa is prominently featured, with some of his iconic images displayed from the Spanish Civil War and World War II, including of the D-Day landings on Omaha Beach.

There is a haunting image by Capa of the Warsaw ghetto as a scene of rubble in 1948, three years after World War II, but also lighter themes, including artist Pablo Picasso holding an umbrella over the head of his lover Francoise Gilot on a beach that same year.

Brassai, the Hungarian-French artist born as Gyula Halasz, is also featured, with some of his photographed nudes juxtaposed with his sketches of nudes.

Curator Gabriella Csizek, from the Hungarian House of Photography in Budapest, said the history of 20th-century photography cannot be written without mentioning Hungarian influences.

"It is not merely that there were a number of prominent and talented Hungarian artists active in this period," Csizek said Wednesday. "It was that the Hungarians determined and shaped the development of visual perception."

"The Way They See It: An Overview of Hungarian Photography," includes works by over 100 artists, among them Andre Kertesz, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Martin Munkacsi. It is to run June 13 to Sept. 10, and is part of a year of Hungarian culture being observed in Poland.

At a preview for reporters, museum director Agnieszka Morawiecka recalled a famous Robert Capa quote as she described the show: "It's not enough to have talent; you also have to be Hungarian."

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