This Photographer Paved the Way for Women Journalists in War Zones
Who: Gerda Taro, one of the first women to photograph the front lines of war; a pioneer in war photography; August 1, 1910–July 26, 1937
Why She Dazzles: Gerda, born Gerta Pohorylle, fled Nazi Germany after she was arrested for distributing anti-Nazi propaganda. She moved to Paris where she met a struggling photographer and fellow émigré named André Friedmann, who encouraged her to pick up a camera. They quickly fell in love and decided to change their names to conceal their pasts from the Nazis; Gerda Taro and Robert Capa were born. Gerda began photographing the Spanish Civil War alongside Capa. Her courage and bravery took her to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War where, unfortunately, she was killed doing what she loved most at the young age of 26.
Why You Need to Know Her Today: What is believed to be the last known photo of Gerda resurfaced in January 2018 when the son of the doctor who cared for Gerda after her deadly accident posted the photo on Twitter. An inscription on the backside read: “Brunete Front, June 1937 (in Torrelodones) Mrs Frank Capa = of Ce Soire of Paris, killed at Brunete.” Gerda never married, but the name Frank may have been due to a mix-up between the names Robert Capa and Frank Capra, the famous film director.
What She Would Say—Because She Said It Then: “Did they take care of my camera?” These were supposedly her final words before she passed away from injuries sustained from a car collision with a tank; she cared about her work to the very end.
What the Ladies Rocked Then: Ornamental art flourished during the art nouveau movement, a period that ended in 1910—the year Gerda was born. Artists created spectacular jewelry designs with semiprecious stones and glass. French designer René Lalique, one of the most famous jewelry makers of the era, made sensual and surreal pieces, notably the dragonfly corsage ornament. The piece dazzles in emeralds, diamonds, and moonstones, to name a few of the gorgeous gems.
How You Can Rock It Now: Moonstone is known for its protection of travelers and its good fortune—the perfect stone for the roaming photojournalist. The semiprecious stone is named for its glowing sheen that resembles the moon. It’s also recognized for its sacred feminine energy.
Where She May Like to Instagram: Spain, but let’s be real, she would Instagram from everywhere she traveled for her assignments. Gerda would have a massive Instagram following and publish fascinating Instagram Stories of her up-close account of events across the globe. Her most famous pictures documented the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, capturing emotional, powerful imagery of the war's impact on humanity.
Shop the Sparkle: Midnight Glow
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