Ilse Bing

(American, 1899-1998)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 16.2 x 12.2 cm (6 3/8 x 4 13/16 in.); Paper: 17.8 x 13 cm (7 x 5 1/8 in.); Matted: 45.7 x 35.6 cm (18 x 14 in.)

Gift of George Stephanopoulos 2011.229



This entryway is part of Neu-Birnau, a small pilgrimage church built in 1745–51 on the Austrian shore of Lake Constance. The dramatic framing of the water through the door and the print’s soft focus and warm tones mimic the aesthetic of Pictorialism, a turn-of-the-20th-century photographic style that argued for the acceptance of photography as a fine art. By 1929 that style had been superseded in fine art photography circles by the modernist aesthetic, which called for sharp focus, geometric compositions, and a more neutral, gray palette.


Ilse Bing: Queen of the Leica
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