The Graubünden Museum of Art in Chur is devoting an exhibition to pioneering Swiss photographer Andrea Garbald (1877–1958), who worked his entire life in the southern alpine Bregaglia valley.
Garbald’s 1909 family photo of the Giacomettis – parents Giovanni and Annette with their four children – went around the world. The picture appears in virtually every book on Giovanni, a post-Impressionist painter, his sons Alberto and Diego, both artists, and Bruno, an architect.
Garbald studied photography in Zurich, afterwards moving into his parents' home, designed by German architect Gottfried Semper, in Castasegna. Garbald’s entire body of work was produced in the surrounding area. He shot countless portraits and pictures of the countryside and architecture, developing his own aesthetic sense. Yet he wasn’t understood by those around him and towards the end of his life grew increasingly isolated. After his death his art was forgotten.
Today, his estate is preserved in the Graubünden Museum of Art, which is devoting an exhibition to him on the 150th anniversary of Villa Garbald. At the same time, Garbald is the subject of a monograph by publishers Scheidegger & Spiess.
(Images: © 2014 Fondazione Garbald, Castasegna. Original German text: Andreas Keiser)