Roberto Donetta: Photographer and Seed Salesman from Bleniotal

Roberto Donetta: Photographer and Seed Salesman from Bleniotal


Roberto Donetta (1865-1932) from Ti­cino is one of Swiss pho­tog­ra­phy’s great out­siders. He man­aged to make a liv­ing as a trav­el­ling pho­tog­ra­pher and seed sales­man, and upon his death left al­most 5,000 glass plates which were pre­served merely by chance. These cap­ture the ar­chaic life of his com­pa­tri­ots in the Valle di Ble­nio, which at the time was to­tally iso­lated, and the grad­ual ad­vent of mod­ernism in a pre­cise and sen­si­tive way.

Over a pe­riod of 30 years and in an era of great change, Donetta be­came a unique chron­i­cler who at the same time saw him­self as an artist who – self-taught – ex­per­i­mented freely and knew how to mas­ter his medium. His pic­tures are pen­e­trat­ing and hu­mor­ous, cheer­ful and deadly se­ri­ous – be they of chil­dren, fam­i­lies, wed­ding cou­ples, pro­fes­sional peo­ple, the harsh every­day-life of women and men, or of the pho­tog­ra­pher him­self. Valle di Ble­nio as a mi­cro­cosm: with Donetta the moun­tain val­ley be­comes the stage for a great The­ater of the World.

The ex­hi­bi­tion will have about 120 works from the Donetta Archive, many of them on show to the pub­lic for the first time ever.

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Museo d’arte della Svizzera ital­iana, Lugano and Fon­dazione Archivio Roberto Donetta, Cor­zoneso.

A mono­graph will be pub­lished by Lim­mat Ver­lag, Zurich, to ac­com­pany the ex­hi­bi­tion.

Roberto Donetta
Photographer and Seed Salesman from Bleniotal
Fotograf und Samenhändler aus dem Bleniotal
28 May – 4 Sep 2016

Fotostiftung Schweiz
Grüzenstr. 45
8400 Winterthur
www.fotostiftung.ch

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© Fondazione Archivio Fotografico Roberto Donetta, Corzoneso

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© Fondazione Archivio Fotografico Roberto Donetta, Corzoneso

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© Fondazione Archivio Fotografico Roberto Donetta, Corzoneso

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© Fondazione Archivio Fotografico Roberto Donetta, Corzoneso

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© Fondazione Archivio Fotografico Roberto Donetta, Corzoneso

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© Fondazione Archivio Fotografico Roberto Donetta, Corzoneso

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© Fondazione Archivio Fotografico Roberto Donetta, Corzoneso

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© Fondazione Archivio Fotografico Roberto Donetta, Corzoneso


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