Sep 3, 2019

All Paris in a Box

All Paris in a Box


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


Did you know?

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


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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