Play: ”Famous Dead Artists Series: Robert Capa”

Performers: Dubuque Museum

of Art

Times/dates: 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5.

Site: Dubuque Museum of Art, 701 Locust St.

Cost: Free with museum admission: $7 for adults; $6 for seniors 65 years of age and older; $4 for college students with ID; free for ages 18 and younger and for museum members.

COVID-19 protocols: Visitors are encouraged but not required to wear a mask.


Moderator Kevin Firnstahl will introduce patrons to Robert Capa (Jared Baker), a photojournalist who was witness to some of the world’s most polarizing events.

From travels in Spain with Ernest Hemingway to document the Spanish Civil War, to journeying through post-war Russia with John Steinbeck, Capa’s work and his globe-trotting adventures will come to life.


DuMA’s “Dead Artist’s Series”

  • began in 2007. Georgia O’Keeffe (Leonore Howard), Salvador Dali (Kevin Firnstahl) and Andy Warhol (Dan Fairchild) were the first artists introduced in the program.
  • Born Endre Friedmann in 1914, Robert Capa grew up in a middle-class Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary. Moving to Berlin at age 18, he studied journalism at the German Political College before the Nazi party banned Jews from the universities.
  • Capa’s career as a photojournalist spanned 18 years, and included coverage of the Spanish Civil War, the Chinese resistance to Imperial Japan, WW II, D-Day at Omaha Beach, Post-war Soviet Union, the founding of Israel and the First Indochina War.
  • Even though his life was cut short at age 40 by a landmine in Vietnam, Capa is considered one of the world’s greatest war time photojournalists.
  • Capa included Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Humphrey Bogart and Truman Capote among his close friends, and had an intimate relationship with actress Ingrid Bergman.
  • Since its inception, the “Dead Artists Series” has introduced museum patrons to more than 30 luminaries in the arts, including Frieda Kahlo, Oscar Wilde, Charlie Chaplin, Julia Child, Paul Gauguin, Mark Twain, Frank Lloyd Wright and Leonard Bernstein.

Quotable, from actor Jared Baker:

  • (Capa’s) photos changed how we perceived war at the time. He showed the parts of war that people didn’t know existed. For example, how it affected the soldiers in the trenches and foxholes, and how it destroyed and forever changed each village that the war went through. He, and others like him at that time, started showing what “The Cost of War” looked like.”
  • “When researching a real person, I want to know as much about them as possible. I will look for recordings on them to see how they spoke and how they moved, if available. I also look for any quotes or text about the person that comes from someone else. I like to see what their friends, family, and constituents thought about them.”
  • “I admire (Capa’s) ‘vision,’ how he could take photos that had so much life in them. I also admire and appreciate how he treated and spoke to everyone in the same manner. It didn’t matter if someone was a general, a chamber maid, a movie star or the mailman. If he spoke to you, you were treated just like everyone else. He was able to take photos of anyone because he made people feel relaxed around him. The third thing I admire would be his character. He was not a person who could sit idly by and do nothing.”
  • “(Expect) surprises, lots of surprises. There are so many interesting facts about him that make you question whether he was a real person or if this is just a really good movie. He was very real and lived through some very horrific and interesting times in history.”

Michelle London

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