Jules Decrauzat, Flight Attempt, Geneva, 1911

© Keystone / Photopress-Archiv / Jules Decrauzat

Life, a Sport
Jules Decrauzat –
A Pioneer of Photoreportage

30 May to 11 October 2015

A discovery: about 1,250 glass negatives dating from the period between 1910 and 1925 that had survived the ravages of time in the archive of the Swiss picture agency Keystone. While the quality of the photographs was well known, the circumstances under which they were taken were largely obscure. As a result of intense research work, a new chapter in the history of Swiss photography can now be written: the 1,250 glass negatives are the work of Jules Decrauzat (1879-1960), who was born in Biel and was most likely Switzerland’s first important photojournalist. As early as 1900, he made a name for himself internationally as a reporter, monitoring world events for the French press. In 1910 he settled in Geneva and specialised in sports reporting – although his work extends far beyond sports photography in the narrower sense. Decrauzat proved to be a master of his medium, both technically and aesthetically. His compelling images successfully portray his era and its fascination with speed.

In collaboration with Keystone, PhotoforumPasquArt, Biel, and Echtzeit Verlag, Basel.

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Guided tours

Supported by the Bundesamt für Kultur and Migros-Kulturprozent.