Tribute to Sabine Weiss

We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of photographer Sabine Weiss (1924-2021).

"The first time I met Sabine Weiss" says Tatyana Franck, director of Photo Elysée, " I was immediately touched by her enthusiasm, her curiosity that was expressed through her talented eyes and her mischievousness, by her humanism and her natural goodness. Sabine has always kept her childlike heart and her unconditional love for LIFE. We invited her in 2015 to pay tribute to her during the Nuit des images on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Musée de l'Elysée. She came with her daughter Marion, her granddaughter and her faithful assistant, Laure Augustins. A friendship was immediately born. Sabine Weiss trusted us enormously to leave her entire archive to Photo Elysée. It is an act of generosity and recognition that confirms the vocation of our institution to preserve the Swiss photographic and artistic memory and the importance given to the creative process of photographers. Sabine was like a fairy godmother for our institution. She was close to all of our teams, she accompanied the transformation of our institution, followed the architectural competition, was present in Lausanne for the laying of the foundation stone in 2018, and at our side last November for the handover ceremony of our new building."

The Sabine Weiss archive includes all of her negatives (200,000), all of her contact sheets (7,000), most of her vintage prints (2,700), most of her late modern prints (2,000), and her working prints (3,500), about 2'000 diapositives, and the whole documentation, that is to say the press archives, the reviews, the justifications, the correspondence, the films, the recordings.

A retrospective exhibition is planned in Photo Elysée's new spaces at Plateforme 10 in 2024.

The entire team at Photo Elysée would like to pay tribute to this great lady of photography and sends its deepest sympathy to her daughter Marion, her grandchildren and her faithful assistant, Laure.

Les 1001 vies de Sabine Weiss (2017) - in French

Other news


Debi Cornwall wins the Prix Elysée 2023

Photo Elysée and Parmigiani Fleurier are pleased to announce the identity of the winner of the Prix Elysée 2023, the American photographer Debi Cornwall for her work entitled Model Citizens.

 "The work is in line with current events and is an important contribution that is timely, given the effect of fake news in our societies. Through her research, the artist questions the blurred line between truth and fiction. The project, which is both a political and intellectual commitment, points to the urgency and necessity of questioning photography as a proof. The impact of fake news is not limited to the United States – the artist is telling a local story that talks about global issues. We are convinced that with the Prix Elysée, Debi Cornwall will reach a new and wider audience and that the prize will help increase her visibility in Europe." – The members of the jury of the Prix Elysée 2023  

The Prix Elysée endowment of CHF 80'000 will enable the artist to complete he research and publish a book.

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The winning images of the contest

As part of the exhibition Blur. A Photographic History, presented at Photo Elysée from March 2 to May 21, 2023, the museum organized an Instagram contest on the theme of blur.

Photographic mistakes, focus manipulations, artistic and motion blur, vignetting or digital manipulation, more than 1'700 images were shared with the hashtag #PhotoElyseeFlou over a period of two weeks.

The great diversity and quality of the submissions impressed the Photo Elysée's team and the jury, composed of Nathalie Herschdorfer, director of Photo Elysée, and Pauline Martin, curator of the Blur exhibition. Thank you all for your participation!

Congratulations to the winners:

The three winning photographs will be presented in our spaces from Thursday, April 20 until May 21, 2023! The photographers of the winning images will also receive a Friends of Photo Elysée card, valid for one year.

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