The exhibition "Evadés. 29 Décembre, 1943. Jacques Léonard"

(Evaded. December 29, 1943. Photographs by Jacques Léonard)

You can visit in MUME from March 24 to September 16, 2018.

The exhibition is based on documentary photographic reproductions Jacques Léonard works carried out in December 1943 to tell the passage through Spain of thousands of young Frenchmen who tried to flee fascism to join the ranks in North Africa. This is one of the few graphic testimonies of this historical moment. It is a set of photographs of a convoy of refugees, mostly French, who arrived from different parts of the Spanish geography, first in Madrid and finally in Malaga, where they embarked for Africa and freedom, December 29, 1943.

Jacques Léonard (Paris, 1909 - L'Escala, 1994), son of a gypsy horse dealer and owner of a fashion house in Paris at the end of the world of photography, but with significant professional experience related to picture. He quickly started in the world of cinema by working in assembly and production tasks and by collaborating with several directors.

He travels all over the world until 1940, he arrives in Spain in search of places for a film about Christopher Columbus, who does not shoot because of the war situation in Europe. Meet the Director General of Cinematography, who offers him the opportunity to work on various missions and settles in Madrid.

In 1949, he moved to Barcelona with impresario Arthur Kaps and became his right hand. Shortly after, he meets the actor Robert Lamouret, whom he accompanies as secretary during a world tour. With him, he travels to England, Australia, Greece and Italy. At the end of the tour, in 1952, he moved to Barcelona where he fell in love with Rosario Amaya, a gypsy who works as a model for artists. He marries Rosario and begins his activity as an independent photographer.

His legacy consists of 18,000 negatives deposited by his children in the photographic archives of Barcelona. They deal with different themes and we must highlight the nearly 3000 devoted to documenting gypsy culture.


"Jacques Léonard recorded with his photographs (...) the stay in the arena of Malaga of a large group of young people waiting for the order to leave Spain (...) This group was to march on December 26 1943, the day after Christmas, and that unexplained circumstances, the departure was postponed until the 29th, which waited until huddled at the makeshift ... photographs (...) Leonard shows boys carrying a map their first name and surname, and represents a first-rate source to illustrate the departure of refugees from Spanish ports, probably the only graphic material known so far from this historical episode., for decades, had been forgotten in Spain (...) Few people imagined then that the Spanish ports had facilitated the enlistment of thousands of young people in the allied army. " (Josep Calvet, Historian)