This just in from a PPHP reader on 13 March 2020
In 1937 Dutch photographer Carel Blazer went to the Spanish Civil War on the side of the republican government. Helped by cineasts Joris Ivens and Luis Bunuel (who was stationed at the Paris embassy of the republic then) he had the opportunity to make pictures in hospitals, schools and sometimes at the front. He met with Robert Capa and was there when Ernest Hemingway handed over the ambulances that Hollywood and New York artists donated to the republic in danger.
We are really excited to know where Carel Blazer, then 25 year old, made his reports in 1937. His photographs were in the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris World Exhibition that year. He has told about it shortly before he died, now 40 years ago.
But only a couple of his press prints have survived in the Netherlands. When the Germans occupied the country in 1940, Blazer -fearing the nazis- destroyed his archive of more than 1000 negatives of his Spanish period.
We know that a lot of his prints were then already distributed all over the world by his Dutch and foreign agencies.
I hope that you can find prints of his stay in Spain. Is there a possibility that there are in your archive photographs – perhaps in the meantime renamed by another agency – with on the back the name of Carel Blazer?
Can you please look this up for me?
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UPDATED 15 October 2020
This from a researcher at the Ryerson University who hold the majority of the Black Star collection:
The photographs in the Black Star Collection represent the personalities, events, and conflicts of the twentieth century over a period of eighty years. The collection, acquired in 2005 for Ryerson University, comprises nearly 300,000 photographs by more than 6,000 different image-makers, including many seminal figures of twentieth-century photojournalism. Working collaboratively in New York City with the founders and editors of such weekly magazines as Life, Look, and the Saturday Evening Post, these photographers established the conventions of the published photo essay as a means to convey narrative information.
There are 8 photographs by Carel Blazer in our Collection and six were taken in Spain during the Civil War. They are digitized and can be viewed at our work in progress online database:
This from the researcher when we sent him the update:
Dear Will, what a nice surprise this is. It makes my day, in these times of half lock downs.