Swiss Institute - Contemporary Art
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Annemarie Schwarzenbach

The Dark Years 1937 - 1938

August 20 - August 31, 2002

Opening Reception: Tuesday, August 20, 6 - 8 PM

Marianne Breslauer,
Portrait of Annemarie Schwarzenbach
, 1932


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The SI is pleased to announce the exhibition of Swiss novelist, journalist and photographer, Annemarie Schwarzenbach. This exhibition, curated by Barbara Lorey de Lacharriere, comprises Schwarzenbach's work made during the years 1937 and 1938 in Europe and in the United States. Her photographs powerfully document Eastern Europe as it fell into the dark years of National Socialism. It was also during these years that she made her first trip to the United States. Schwarzenbach and her American friend, photographer Barbara Hamilton-Wright, traveled by car along the eastern coast, up to Maine; into the Deep South; and to the coal basins of the industrial regions around Pittsburgh. Her photographs capture, "The Other America": rising unemployment, massive strikes, racism and discrimination that ruled the world of plantations of the South, and the misery of the sharecroppers. The combination of the European with the American photographs, show the diversity and depth of despair and suffering during these years. 
Schwarzenbach, Hitler Youth, Vienna, 1938 Schwarzenbach, Montgomery, Alabama, 1938

Born in Zurich in 1908, Schwarzenbach died at the young age of 34 after a bicycle accident. She is still mostly unknown outside the German-speaking world, where she is cherished, above all, as an author of novels and of her great travels. She was a politically engaged writer, taking part in the resistance against Nazism, as well as supporting Roosevelt's New Deal and the American factory workers' struggle to form labor unions. This exhibition will show the variety of her engagement with these dark years of 1937-38 and will introduce American audiences to the photographic work of this important Swiss woman.

This exhibition has been made possible by Alizarine productions and FNAC. The photographs appear courtesy of the Schweiz Literaturarchiv Bern. The opening reception is made possible by the kind support of the Consulate General of Switzerland, New York. Special thanks to New York Central Framing.