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André Roch Skiing
Fritz Kaeser photographed the American West in an era when aesthetic and nature photography merged. He was an heir to a Midwest manufacturing fortune which enabled him to pursue his interests in skiing and photography. In 1938 he and his wife, Milly Tangen Kaeser, first visited Aspen, Colorado, and were enchanted. They bought land, built a home, and visited each winter. They met André Roch, a Swiss mountaineer, champion skier and avalanche expert who had moved to Colorado to help develop recreational skiing. After World War II Kaeser opened a studio in Aspen, photographing in the wilderness and on the slopes. For this image of Roch, the photographer took a position in the shade, with the sun to the side and above him. Despite the high-key tonality of the image, details of the skier’s goggled face and belted parka are still visible in the shadows. By contrast, icy crystals twinkle in the blanket of undisturbed snow.
from Touchstones of the Twentieth Century: A History of Photography at the University of Notre Dame (exhibition, 2020-21)