A militiaman prepares to leave for the Aragon front in Barcelona, August 1936.

A militiaman prepares to leave for the Aragon front in Barcelona, August 1936.


In this country, the Spanish Civil War carries romantic echoes of a beautiful, lost cause in a faraway land where American volunteers in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade fought the good fight against fascism.

The war was anything but. The cruel struggle was responsible for about a half-million deaths, including some of Spain’s finest poets: Garcia Lorca, Michael Hernandez and Antonio Machado. The conflict served as a dress rehearsal for World War II.

The Jacob Lawrence Gallery on the University of Washington campus will display 40 powerful images from the war with its new exhibit, “Centelles >in__edit_ioh!,” which runs Jan. 22 to Feb. 16.

Celebrated Catalan photojournalist Agustí Centelles took the photos during the life of the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939). The exhibit also features pictures from the French internment camp at Bram, where he was incarcerated.

“There are some [images] that are pretty emotional,” said gallery director Kris Anderson. In the end, Anderson said, the viewer will come away with a sense of what a civil war looks like.

Centelles retrieved the photographs, hidden for decades in France, in 1976.

A lecture, “Archives Without Borders: Augusti Centelles and Historical Memory in the U.S.,” will be given by James Fernandez of New York University just prior to the exhibition opening on Tuesday, Jan. 22. The opening reception runs from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Jacob Lawrence Gallery is in the Art Building, Room 132, on Northeast Stevens Way. Gallery hours: Wednesdays through Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m.