Nov 21, 2019

Moving Railway Clutches on Rails

Moving Railway Clutches on Rails

1929, printed 1991

Ilse Bing

(American, 1899-1998)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 22.8 x 33.9 cm (9 x 13 3/8 in.); Paper: 28 x 35.3 cm (11 x 13 7/8 in.)

Gift of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg 2020.294

Location

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The light weight and “miniature” size of the 35mm Leica used by Ilse Bing made it easy to hold at unusual angles.

Description

Ilse Bing was the first professional photographer to wholeheartedly adopt the first widely available 35mm Leica camera. It was held up to the photographer’s eye to frame and shoot. Its light-sensitive film allowed it to capture motion, or even shoot while a railway car was in motion. Bing’s image displays a modernist aesthetic, which called for sharp focus, geometric compositions, and a neutral, gray palette.

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