Walter Bosshard, Soldiers at play for recreation. China, 1938.
© Fotostiftung Schweiz / Archiv für Zeitgeschichte

Walter Bosshard/Robert Capa
The race for China

22 September 2018 to
10 February 2019

Walter Bosshard from Switzerland played a key role in shaping modern photojournalism. Around 1930, he was at the forefront when a new style of illustrated magazines enjoyed unprecedented success. His photo reports reached an audience of millions and made him an internationally renowned star reporter. From 1931 on, Bosshard concentrated on China and settled in Beijing in 1933. He sensed that the Middle Kingdom was on the brink of radical change. As a photographer and writer, he followed the devastating war with Japan and the power struggle between nationalists and communists, but also immersed himself in everyday Chinese life. In 1938, he became the first European to reach the loess caves of Yan’an, where Mao and the Red Army were gathering their forces. And so Bosshard won the media race – ahead of Robert Capa, who was his friend and rival at the time. The exhibition by the Fotostiftung Schweiz shows new, unknown pictures by Walter Bosshard and confronts them with the contemporaneous reports from China by Robert Capa.

In collaboration with the Archives of Contemporary History of ETH Zurich, ullstein bild Berlin and ICP New York.