Werner Bischof (1916-1954)

8c334ae850769cab695d9cb56ac99dfb
Werner Bischof

Werner Bischof (26 April 1916 – 16 May 1954) was a Swiss photographer and photojournalist. He became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1949, the first new photographer to join its original founders. Bischoff’s book Japan (1954) was awarded the Prix Nadar in 1955.

Life and work

Bischof was born in Zürich, Switzerland. When he was six years old, the family moved to Waldshut, Germany, where he subsequently went to school. In 1932, having abandoned studies to become a teacher, he enrolled at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zürich, where he graduated cum laude in 1936.

From 1939 on, he worked as an independent photographer for various magazines, in particular, du, based in Zürich. He travelled extensively from 1945 to 1949 through nearly all European countries from France to Romania and from Norway to Greece. His works on the devastation in post-war Europe established him as one of the foremost photojournalists of his time.

He was associated into Magnum Photos in 1948 and became a full member in 1949. At that time Magnum was composed of just five other photographers, its founders Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, David Seymour, and Ernst Haas.

The focus of much of Bischof’s post-war humanist photography was showing the poverty and despair around him in Europe, tempered with his desire to travel the world, conveying the beauty of nature and humanity.

In 1951, he went to India, freelancing for Life, and then to Japan and Korea. For Paris Match he worked as a war reporter in Vietnam. In 1954, he travelled through Mexico and Panama, before flying to Peru, where he embarked on a trip through the Andes to the Amazonas on 14 May. On 16 May his car fell off a cliff on a mountain road in the Andes, and all three passengers were killed.

Awards

1955: Japon (1954 Japan) won the Prix Nadar.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s