Roger Schall

Photographer - Retrospective during the Contact Board Festival in 2018

Bather diving in the waves Deauville summer 1935 © Roger Schall
Children playing on the beach of Deauville, summer 1936 © Roger Schall

Summers in Deauville (1934 > 1950)

Famous French photo reporter of the 30s, Roger Schall was born in Nancy in 1904. Son of a photographer, he was trained by his father and during his incorporation, in 1925, in the photographic section of the army.

1931: Opening of his first photographic studio in Montmartre, avenue Junot.

1934: With the rise of the illustrated press, the Schall studio, created and co-directed by Roger Shall and his brother Raymond Schall, has fourteen employees and operates until 1939 as a press agency. Schall's reports were published throughout Europe and the United States in more than 100 illustrated magazines. The nudes and photos of Paris are published with those of Brassaï and Jean Moral. 

1934: Roger Schall begins his career as an international reporter with a Rolleiflex. First summer report in Deauville, commissioned by Lucien Vogel for the magazine VU. First collaborations with Vogue. Roger Schall photographs fashion in the style of reportage, in movement and in natural settings, whereas fashion photography was then mostly done in the studio.

1935: Report on the Jubilee of King George VI in London, published in the English edition of Vogue . Portraits of Colette. After having made a report on the construction of the liner Normandie in the shipyards of Penhöet, Lucien Vogel entrusts him with the reportage of the maiden voyage from Le Havre to New York. Exclusive photographer accredited by the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, he shares his cabin with Blaise Cendrars. Short stay in the USA and reportage on New York, Harlem, Coney Island. Second stay in Deauville.

1936 : Reportage in Berlin to cover the preparation of the future Olympic Games, for Vu. Third reportage in Deauville to capture the first paid holidaymakers. 

1937: Publication of Paris de Jour, a book prefaced by Jean Cocteau (Arts & Métiers Graphiques) and the Nude in Photography by Marcel Natkin. Roger Schall's photos are shown alongside those of Man Ray, Laure Albin Guillot and Pierre Boucher. Fourth summer reportage in Deauville.

1944 : Publication of : A Paris sous la botte des nazis, testimony in images of the four years of occupation. This book, with a preface by General de Gaulle, will be published by Raymond Schall with photographs by Roger Schall, Robert Doisneau, Roger Parry, Les Frères Seeberger, Pierre Jahan... 

 1947: Beginning of advertising photography in his studio in Montmartre 

1948 > 1969: Numerous reports in France : Summer in Deauville for France Illustrations. Marcel Boussac's stud farms (publication of Horses of France for Editions Prisma, (1964) races (Longchamp, Ascot), industrial photography (Forges et Aciéries de la Loire, Le Creusot, Saint Etienne, Saint-Gobain factories...), presidential hunts in Rambouillet, new orders from the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique...

Many portraits of painters, writers and actors. 

In parallel to his advertising creations, he continues his fashion reports and carries out commissions for haute couture (Jeanne Lanvin, Jacques Fath, Grès...)

1970: Roger Schall returns to painting and drawing. Solicited by many publishers and museums, he devotes himself to the management of his collection and his photographic fund.

1995: Roger Schall died on December 4 in Paris, at the age of 91.

About the retrospective exhibition on Roger Schall: Summers in Deauville (1934 > 1950):
In the 1930s, the photographer Roger Schall (1904-1995) was caught up in the media revolution that was the birth of the illustrated press. He was one of the first to use the Rolleiflex and its square images. He then established himself as one of the best French photojournalists. Multiplying the reports and the orders for VU, Match, L'illustration, Marie Claire... He discovered Deauville in 1934 and until 1950 he produced numerous images with rigorous compositions that have remained unpublished to this day.
It was at the request of Lucien Vogel, director of VU magazine, that Roger Schall went to Deauville for the first time in the summer of 1934. He captures the rituals and various activities. Exploring the beach during the day, with its bathers, children, celebrities and elegant women, he attended gala dinners and captured the atmosphere of the casino in the evening. He follows the automobile competitions of elegance, the races and sales of yearlings, the golf games and the pigeon shooting. He also strolls the yacht basin and its displays and follows the activities of the Deauville Yacht Club. He is one of the only photographers to have also photographed the religious processions of August 15th. Rarely has a reporter captured so many different and complementary facets of the city. In May 1*935, at the request of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, Roger Schall was the only photographer accredited to the inaugural cruise of the liner Normandie. As soon as he returned from the United States, seduced by Deauville and its activities, he returned there in the summer of 1935, then in 1936 to discover the first summer of paid vacations.
Created for Planche(s) Contact 2018, this original exhibition is presented outdoors on the beach. It reproduces 25 large formats, on three-meter high structures, mostly unpublished photographs taken in Deauville between 1934 and 1950. 

Exhibition conceived by Philippe Normand, artistic director of Planche(s) Contact 2018, in collaboration with Jean-Frédérique Schall, son of the photographer. 


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