Werner Bischof

Werner Bischof

Werner Bischof was born in Switzerland. He studied photography with Hans Finsler in his native Zurich at the School for Arts and Crafts, then opened a photography and advertising studio. In 1942, he became a freelancer for Du magazine, which published his first major photo essays in 1943. Bischof received international recognition after the publication of his 1945 reportage on the devastation caused by the Second World War.

In the years that followed, Bischof traveled in Italy and Greece for Swiss Relief, an organization dedicated to post-war reconstruction. In 1948, he photographed the Winter Olympics in St Moritz for LIFE magazine. After trips to Eastern Europe, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, he worked for Picture PostThe ObserverIllustrated, and Epoca. He was the first photographer to join Magnum with the founding members in 1949.

Disliking the ‘superficiality and sensationalism’ of the magazine business, he devoted much of his working life to looking for order and tranquility in traditional culture, something that did not endear him to picture editors looking for hot topical material. Nonetheless, he found himself sent to report on the famine in India by Life magazine (1951), and he went on to work in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Indochina. The images from these reportages were used in major picture magazines throughout the world.

In the autumn of 1953, Bischof created a series of expansively composed color photographs of the USA. The following year he traveled throughout Mexico and Panama, and then on to a remote part of Peru, where he was engaged in making a film. Tragically, Bischof died in a road accident in the Andes on 16 May 1954, only nine days before Magnum founder Robert Capa lost his life in Indochina.

"I felt compelled to venture forth and explore the true face of the world. Leading a satisfying life of plenty had blinded many of us to the immense hardships beyond our borders"

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18 Results

18 Results
  • Magnum Poster: Harbour of Kowloon, Hong Kong, 1952

    Magnum Poster: Harbour of Kowloon, Hong Kong, 1952

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  • Magnum Poster: Penguins from the zoo taking their weekly walk in Edinburgh, Scotland, 1950

    Magnum Poster: Penguins from the zoo taking their weekly walk in Edinburgh, Scotland, 1950

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    $60.00 - $180.00
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  • Magnum Editions: Harbor of Kowloon. Hong Kong, 1952

    Magnum Editions: Harbor of Kowloon. Hong Kong, 1952

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  • The Swiss Worker. 1943

    The Swiss Worker. 1943

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  • Streams. 1941

    Streams. 1941

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  • Photomontage. Zurich, Switzerland, 1941

    Photomontage. Zurich, Switzerland, 1941

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  • On the road to Cuzco. Peru, May, 1954

    On the road to Cuzco. Peru, May, 1954

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  • Silk drying. Kyoto, Japan, 1951

    Silk drying. Kyoto, Japan, 1951

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  • Nude. Zurich, Switzerland, 1941

    Nude. Zurich, Switzerland, 1941

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  • New York City, 1953

    New York City, 1953

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  • Chicago, 1953

    Chicago, 1953

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  • Lotus flowers. Japan, 1951

    Lotus flowers. Japan, 1951

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  • Photogram. Zurich, Switzerland, 1941

    Photogram. Zurich, Switzerland, 1941

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  • Zebra Woman. Zurich, Switzerland, 1942

    Zebra Woman. Zurich, Switzerland, 1942

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  • Courtyard of the Meiji shrine. Tokyo, Japan, 1951

    Courtyard of the Meiji shrine. Tokyo, Japan, 1951

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  • Contact Sheet Print: Swiss Mountain Peaks

    Contact Sheet Print: Swiss Mountain Peaks

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  • Contact Sheet Print: Physics

    Contact Sheet Print: Physics

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  • Contact Sheet Print: Gardens of the Meiji temple. Tokyo, Japan. 1951

    Contact Sheet Print: Gardens of the Meiji temple. Tokyo, Japan. 1951

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