Jacques Naegeli is regarded as a photography trailblazer in the Saanenland, where he worked and lived with his family. Every now and then one comes across his photographs in print media, books as well as in restaurants and hotels. A holistic examination of Naegeli's work is of cultural and touristic interest to the region, but hadn't been undertaken to date. Until now.
For quite some time, Suzanne Potterat and Christian Högl have longed to explore the depths of Jacques Naegeli's photographic and film legacy. An eventual book to share their discoveries was a goal. In the summer of 2010, lunching with friend and publisher of cultural books, Daniel Gabarell, a spark was lit, and a collaboration formed.
The idea gradually took shape, but it was two years later during a business meeting with Stephan Jaggi from Gstaad, that the project truly began to take off. He was enthusiastic about the undertaking and also suggested to add a Naegeli exhibition at the Museum der Landschaft in Saanen to compliment the book. The whole team quickly agreed on a one-year exhibition.
The knowledge of and collaboration with Naegeli's daughter, Gertrud, has greatly enriched this project. She was a professional photograher herself and worked in her father's business, where she was amongst other things in charge of the post card publishing until 1945. Many years ago Gertrud and her sister Anna, bequeathed a considerable part of Naegelis's work to the Swiss National Library and the Cińematheque Suisse in Lausanne. There remained however a wealth of prints, negatives, films, equipment and props, in the hands of the family that needed to be scoured for the nicest gems.
It quickly became evident that Naegeli's filmworks contained much historical material of value as well. This practically necessitated the expansion of the project even further. A short film was cut together and will be projected in Gstaad against the facade of Chalet Naegeli, which is celebrating it's 100th anniversary.
An undertaking of this magnitude requires a rather sizeable budget. We therefore wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to Stephan Jaggi and Daniel Gabarell for their professional securing of the sponsorship. We also found a great partner in Frank Müller who helped with promotion and distribution throughout the Saanenland. Last but not least our appreciation goes to all of our sponsors and contributors for their generosity.