Horna, Kati (1912—)
Horna, Kati (1912—)
Hungarian-born photographer of the Spanish Civil War. Born in Hungary of Spanish descent on May 19, 1912; married José Horna (a painter and sculptor), in 1938.
Kati Horna was born in Hungary on May 19, 1912, of Spanish descent. She studied photography in Hungary and started her photographic career in Paris in 1933. Horna arrived in Spain shortly after the Civil War began in July 1936 and started working for the Propaganda Committee of the anarchist trade union, the Confederación Nacional de Trabajo. From January 1937 until her departure from Spain in 1938, Horna worked as a photographer and graphics editor for leftist journals. Many of these were anarchist publications: Tierra y Libertad (Land and Liberty), Tiempos Nuevos (New Times), and Mujeres Libres (Free Women). Politics and art motivated her photography more than the desire to sell her works, and Horna consequently did not join any of the major photo distribution networks.
Most of her photographic work was lost after the Nationalists overran the Republican zone. Horna herself took only 270 negatives with her when she left for France. With the outbreak of World War II, she went to Veracruz, Mexico, in 1939, which became her home. There, she and her husband José Horna provided a hub for exiled and Mexican surrealists. José, a noted painter and sculptor, made toys in collaboration with Remedios Varo and his wooden puppets were used in the production of puppet shows written by Leonora Carrington. Varo stayed with the Hornas when she separated from her husband. In 1979, the Spanish Ministry of Culture purchased Kati Horna's negatives and added them to the National Historical Archives collection on the Civil War. The photographs portray the war's effects on civilians within territory held by the Republic.
Horna, Kati. Fotografías de la guerra civil española (1937–1938). Salamanca: Ministerio de Cultura, 1992.
Kendall W. Brown , Provo, Utah