Annemarie Schwarzenbach may not be as big of a name right now like say, Dorothea Lange, Diane, Arbus, or Vivian Maier. This cloud of obscurity will soon clear as the Swiss National Library made more than 3,000 of her photographs available to the public.
Annemarie Schwarzenbach, self-portrait via Wikimedia Commons
Coming from an affluent family with roots in the silk trade, Annemarie was as adventurous as she was free-spirited. She didn't look at staying put as an option in her life. Instead, she went against it and rubbed elbows with people of different origins and destinations. Where there was something to see, to write about, to experience, and to capture with her camera, she's bound for it on the next train or car ride.
This thirst for discovery of self and other things even led her to a cross-country trip to Afghanistan by car with fellow writer and traveler Ella Maillart and that's just but one of her many trips all around the world. On her journeys, Annemarie would often write about many things and take photographs of the culture, people, and experience she encountered. She had an eye for all things new to her and it's amazing to see that these images are going around for the world to see.
The Swiss National Library published thousands of Annemarie's photographs from her travels between the 1930s and 1940s. It's a compelling sight, it really is. Her travels brought her to parts of Europe, Africa, America, and Asia and she had thousands of photographs to show for it. Unfortunately, her travels were cut short as she died from a tragic bike accident. She was just 34. Still, her name and legacy live on in the bold life she led and the overwhelming documentary photos she took.