Sabine Weiss is a French photographer, born in Switzerland in 1924. She is one of the best representatives of the French humanist photography along with Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis, Edouard Boubat, and Izis.
At eighteen years old, she decided to become a photographer and left her small town, Saint-Gingolph, on her bicycle for the capital, Geneva. There, from 1942 to 1945, she learned and practiced photography under Frédéric Boissonnas, a studio photographer. After obtaining her diploma, she opened her own studio in Geneva. But in 1946, Sabine decided to move to Paris and became the assistant of Willy Maywald, a famous fashion photographer. In 1949, she met the man of her life, Hugh Weiss, the American painter. In 1950, Sabine started her own carrier as an independent photographer and was hired in 1952 by Vogue as a photo reporter and fashion photographer until 1961. In the office of Vogue’s director, Robert Doisneau discovered her photographs and offered her to be part of the Rapho agency. She started travelling the world for newspapers and magazines such as Time, Life, Newsweek, and Paris-Match.
However, to Sabine Weiss, her personal work has always been essential, representing a perfect balance between poetry and social observation. With her concerned eye, she has been depicting the everyday life, the people, and their emotions. In 1955, Edward Steichen chose three of her photographs to feature in the exhibition Family of Man hold at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Since then, her work has been exhibited widely and is part of major institutions such as the Art Institute, Chicago; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne; the Georges-Pompidou Center, Paris; the Maison européenne de la photographie, Paris; and the Kunsthaus of Zurich, among others.
She currently lives in Paris, France.
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