All Paris in a Box

All Paris in a Box

1952

Ilse Bing

(American, 1899-1998)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 40.6 x 50.8 cm (16 x 20 in.)

The A. W. Ellenberger, Sr., Endowment Fund 2019.178

Location

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In some prints of this image, the woman selling these souvenirs is visible.

Description

Visiting Paris in 1950, Ilse Bing wrote her husband that the city had become a “giant museum” whose entire splendors could be contained “in a box.”[1] Two years later she shot All Paris in a Box, 1952, which depicts a souvenir vendor’s wares presented in a suitcase. Just as Marcel Duchamp’s Boîte-en-valise contained tiny versions of his masterworks, this suitcase contains images and miniature versions of the famous wonders of the City of Light.
[1] “Paris zeigt sich als Riesenmuseum,” Ilse Bing, letter to Konrad Wolff, Paris, June 11, 1950 (Ilse Bing Archive/Estate of Ilse Bing), quoted in Larisa Dryansky, Ilse Bing: Photography Through the Looking Glass, New York: Abrams, 2006, 58.

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