Photojournalist Cornell Capa (brother to the famous WWII photographer Robert Capa) founded New York’s International Center of Photography in 1972. In 1946, he was working as a staff photographer for Life, and over the following eight years he worked on approximately 300 assignments for the magazine. Capa said that his aim was to “write with light, to inform, to enlighten, to be fair—but with passion and incisive understanding.” Capa achieved these aims in his work both for Life and in his famous photographs of John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Grandma Moses, and Billy Graham.
In the September 6, 1946 issue of Life, Capa contributed the cover photo and an accompanying photo essay entitled “LifeVisits Cape Cod” (p. 122-125). The feature of that photo essay was the Foster family of Nashua, NH (William and Carol and sons Karl, 9, and Michael, 4). At the time of this photo shoot, Carol Foster was just beginning her undercover activities with the FBI “collecting information and evidence on Communist activities” in New England [see Carol Harris Foster papers at Dartmouth: https://archives-manuscripts.dartmouth.edu/repositories/2/resources/12817]. After serving as secretary of the Communist Party in Nashua, NH, Carol Foster would later give testimony in Boston to the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) on Thursday, March 20, 1958.
Included here are fifteen (15) original Cornell Capa photographs from the 1946 photo shoot with the Fosters. All are black and white and range from approximately 10.5” x 10.5” to approximately 13.5” x 10.5”. Three of the photographs appear in the published Life photo essay. All are stamped on verso “Life Photo by Cornell Capa Jul 26 1946” and all have a Life magazine stamp as well (“Life Photograph Reproduction Forbidden” or “Courtesy Life Magazine Not for Publication”). All photos have penciled notations on versos. One of Capa’s photos shows Carol Foster photographing her child on the beach (Foster herself had worked as a photographer in New Hampshire).
Also included is an original (approximately 14” x 11”) photograph by Carol Foster of her son at Fenway Park. On the verso—written in pencil in Carol Foster’s hand—is “Mike at the ‘Fenway’ Boston 1950 Michael Foster Carol Foster Foto.” Additionally, the Sept. 6, 1946 issue of Life magazine is included as well.
See: Cornell Capa: Photographs. Edited by Cornell Capa and Richard Whelan. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1992. . Item #809