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The Chronicles of a Modern Life - Hans Steiner, Switzerland and modern times at Musée de l'Elysée

Hans Steiner only ever chose to capture brief, yet very intense and significant moments with his camera. The Swiss photographer was a representative of the modern and his visions of society are still mirrored in his images today.

His untimely death in 1962 meant that he had experienced an age after black and white photography – yet he managed to describe his surroundings in a more colourful and lively way than most of his contemporaries did later on in colour. The chronicles of a modern life.

Musée de l’Elysée purchased Steiner's estate in 1989 and now houses an archive of almost 100,000 images and moreover an important milestone of Swiss photo journalism.

The exhibition presents the privileged view of a decidedly optimistic and simultaneously unconventional eye witness of an increasing consumer driven society. He captured the urban vision of Switzerland which presented women, sports, entertainment and advertising in a whole new light.

Hans Steiner was born in 1907 in Bern and died there in 1962. In the early 1930s he worked as a photographer for Schweizer Illustrierte and Die Woche, after WWII he travelled abroad for advertising and documentary commission work, to countries including China, Java and the Pyrenees.

The museum presents a selection of their collection of his works. The show is accompanied by a detailed Steiner Project book with 220 photographs, which explores the rising interest in Steiner's work, taking readers on a journey through the 20th century, the history of photography and Switzerland, illustrated by 300 images, as well as the added bonus of a 30 minute DVD in German and French.

No worries if you can't make it to Lausanne by 15th May, the exhibition will be touring other spaces in Switzerland including Fotostiftung Winterthur (28.5. – 9.10.2011), Médiathèque Valais-Martigny (29.10.2011 – 29.1.2012) and the Museo Villa die Cedri de Bellinzona (10.3.2012 – 3.6.2012).

Hans Steiner – Chronique de la vie moderne

Until 15th May 2011

Musée de l'Elysée
18 avenue de l'Elysée
1014 Lausanne
Tue – Sun, 11:00 – 18:00

Hans Steiner – Alles wird besser
Photographs 1930–1960
Limmat Verlag
336 pages
211 photos
sFr. 69.–, € 54.–
ISBN 978-3-85791-621-2