Ilse BING, Still life Enlarge 1 /1


Germany 1899 – United States of America 1998

  • France 1930-1941 United States from 1941

Still life 1933 Description: Vase with flowers
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: image and sheet 28.2 h x 22.3 w cm
Acknowledgement: Gift of the Ilse Bing Wolff Estate
Accession No: NGA 2002.476

I didn't choose photography; it chose me. I didn't know it at the time. An artist doesn't think first then do it, he is driven.
Ilse Bing

Ilse Bing took up photography in the late 1920s in order to document her doctoral thesis in architecture. By 1930 she was living in Paris, after seeing an exhibition of contemporary photography from France that she saw at the Kunstverein in Frankfurt. She was particularly inspired by the work of the photographer Florence Henri included in that exhibition.

Her work was published in numerous newspapers and fashion magazines. Bing earned the title 'queen of the Leica' because she was one of the few photographers of the time who worked exclusively with this 'miniature' format camera. She was fascinated by the possibilities of photographing objects and often used shadows and reflections as compositional devices.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra