Horst Tappe

The creation of the Horst Tappe Foundation was born out of a friendship. It was in 1999 that the world-famous photographer met Sarah Benoit and Charlotte Lukaszewski, two art historians studying at Lausanne University. They were mounting an exhibition devoted to Vladimir Nabokov, and Horst Tappe owned a famous series of photographs of the writer. The exhibition, created in Montreux, was well received by the public and the international press and travelled to several European countries as well as the USA. This fruitful collaboration forged a professional and friendly bond between the three. They decided to continue to develop the potential of the photographs which, until then, had been reserved for the illustration of articles and publications.

Horst Tappe took up residence on the Swiss Riviera in 1963. The richness of his work, both technically and in terms of the impressive number of personalities he photographed (Picasso, Dali, Boulez, Nabokov, Anouilh, Bouvier, Cardinale…) is unique. Over 1,000 leading figures from the world of art and literature form his portrait gallery.

Before his death in 2005, the photographer spoke of his fear that his life's work would sink into oblivion. Charlotte Lukaszewski and Sarah Benoit resolved to create a foundation in his memory.

The photographic collection is currently deposited in the Montreux District Archives, along with the archives of Charles Chaplin and Igor Stravinsky.