Peter Moeschlin

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Peter Moeschlin (10 May 1924 - 2003) was a Swiss photographer known for reportage, press and publicity photography, for fine art imagery and as a motion picture director.

Life and professional work[edit]

Peter Moeschlin was born and was active in Basel, where he was apprenticed to Carl Hoffmann (1883–1969) and then took various employment as a photographer, including (from 1943 to 1947) in Studio Eidenbenz, founded in 1933 by the brothers Hermann, Reinhold and Willi Eidenbenz, who also employed Robert Frank.[1]

Moeschlin spent eight months in England in 1947 as freelance reportage photographer and the following year spent several months in French North Africa. He was a reporter for Die Woche in the early 1950s, leaving to take up freelance professional work.

In 1951, in partnership with Christian Baur, he opened the Atelier Moeschlin + Baur in Basel, producing architectural,[1] industrial,[2] advertising[3] and art photography,[4] and publishing a picture book on Pablo Casals 1956.[5]

He made a 20 minute documentary film Gefahr Nordwest. Seenoteinsatz in der Nordsee ('Danger North-West: sea rescues in the North Sea') during 1956-8, and in 1959/60 he was an assistant director and manager of film productions.

After 1967 he returned to working from his own photographic studio.

Fine art photography[edit]

In his personal work he was a disciple of Otto Steinert’s ‘Fotoform’, of which Moeschlin's slow-shutter, semi-abstract Seagull in Flight was identified as an example by historian of photography Helmut Gernsheim[6] and featured in LIFE magazine.[7]


Awarded the Eidgenössisches Stipendium (Federal Art Scholarship) in 1950, in 1955 Moeschlin was recognised with acceptance into the Kollegium Schweizer Photographen and in the same year his low-angle picture of two elderly women in animated conversation in the street was selected for MoMA’s world-touring The Family of Man exhibition curated by Edward Steichen.


  • Gewerbemuseum Basel (Hg.): Photographie in der Schweiz - Heute (cat.), Basel, Gewerbemuseum 1949.
  • Collet, Maurice (Hg.): Photo 49. Photographie en Suisse. Photographie in der Schweiz. Swiss photography, Reihe: Publicité et arts graphiques, Spezialnummer 1949.
  • Organisationskomitee der 150-Jahrfeier des Kantons Aargau (Hg.): Jubilierender Aargau. Erinnerungsschrift zur 150-Jahrfeier 1953, Aarau, Buchdruckerei Neue Aargauer Zeitung 1953.
  • Seiler, Alexander J.P.; Moeschlin, Peter: Casals, Olten, Otto Walter 1956.
  • Roedelberger, Franz Adam: Das Sonnenbuch vom Bündnerland, vom Wallis und Tessin, Bern, Verbandsdruckerei 1957.
  • Moeschlin, Peter: Gefahr Nordwest. Seenoteinsatz in der Nordsee [Film], 1958.
  • Kübler, Arnold: Mitenand, gägenenand, durenand. Ein Bilderbuch vom Umgang mit dem Nächsten in der Schweiz, Zürich, Ex Libris 1959.
  • Klaus, Fritz; Strübin, Theodor; Moeschlin, Peter; Schellenberg, Heinrich; Rausser, Edith: Baselland zwischen Strom und Berg, Genf, Ed. Générales 1959.
  • Stoecklin, Hansjörg; Moeschlin, Peter; Pardey, Andreas: Fotografen sehen Jean Tinguely: Hansjörg Stoecklin, Peter Moeschlin, Basel, Museum Jean Tinguely 1999.
  • Hiltbrand, Robert; Hort, Hans Peter: Kuttlebutzer Basel 1957-1999, Basel, Kuttlebutzer - Fasnachtsgesellschaft zum Saich 2003.
  • Lüem, Barbara: Heimathafen Basel. Die Schweizer Rhein- und Hochseeschifffahrt, Basel 2003.


  • 1949, Basel, Gewerbemuseum, Photographie in der Schweiz - Heute.
  • 1952, Luzern, Kunsthaus, Weltausstellung der Photographie.
  • 1999, Basel, Museum Tinguely, Sali Sepi - di Jeannot.
  • 2004, Basel, Historisches Museum Basel, Blickfänger. Fotografien in Basel aus zwei Jahrhunderten.


  1. ^ muba: Recent Trends in Swiss Stand Design in Graphis; New York Vol. 11, Iss. 60, (Apr 1, 1955): 344-351.
  2. ^ Bewährte Photographen in Graphis; New York Vol. 16, Iss. 88, (Mar 1, 1960): 173
  3. ^ Butter, Werner. ‘Beetle Advertising in Germany’ in Graphis; New York Vol. 31, Iss. 181, (Sep 1, 1975): 418-421.
  4. ^ Lionni, Leo. ‘Of ART AND art’ in Graphis; New York Vol. 16, Iss. 91, (Sep 1, 1960): 440-444.
  5. ^ Seiler, Alexander J.P.; Moeschlin, Peter: Casals, Olten, Otto Walter 1956.
  6. ^ Gernsheim, Helmut (1962), Creative photography : aesthetic trends, 1839-1960, Faber and Faber, p. 200
  7. ^ LIFE 17 Jul 1950,Time Inc., ISSN 0024-3019, p.19