Photo Library

Together with Fotostiftung Schweiz, Fotomuseum Winterthur runs the photo library. The library covers the history of photography, documents contemporary works, offers theoretical publications for an in-depth examination of the medium of photography and research according to thematic focal points. The photo library is open to the public.

Photo Library

Fotobibliothek in der Passage

In Print – Jakob Tuggener and the Illustrated Press

To accompany the exhibition Jakob Tuggener – The 4 Seasons, Fotostiftung Schweiz is presenting a selection of works that Jakob Tuggener published in little-known magazines typical of his era, such as Föhn and Der Gleichrichter. These are impressive photo reports on hitherto little-noticed facets of everyday life in the city or about life in the countryside.

Jakob Tuggener had an ambivalent relationship with the illustrated press: He saw himself as an artist, confidently described himself as ‘Photographic Poet I’ and preferred to work on his own projects, rather than on commissions from editorial offices. Nevertheless, like many photographers of his generation, he was reliant on the modest income that he earned from magazine articles. Thanks to impressive photo reportages on previously little-noticed facets of everyday urban life, on the ‘better’ society or on life in the countryside, photographers such as Gotthard Schuh, Paul Senn or Hans Staub were among the figureheads of the illustrated magazines, which were very much on the rise, due in no small part to photography.

Likewise, Tuggener also supplied this illustrated press with pictures until the 1950s, often unsolicited and with varying degrees of success. He boasted to a friend that the editor of Schweizer Illustrierte thought all his photos were potential cover pictures, that his name was well known at Tages-Anzeiger and that he was now ‘recognised and appreciated everywhere’. In reality though, his photographs were often returned without comment, or his pictures simply remained in editorial offices without ever being published.

Zürcher Illustrierte and Schweizer Illustrierte were among the most prominent platforms for photojournalists. However, plenty of minor magazines like Schweizer Spiegel, Föhn, Die Möve and Das Schweizer Magazin were also trying to assert themselves on the market with photographic content. These niches allowed Tuggener to sell pictures without having to fulfil a specific brief.