Feb 24, 2015
Feb 24, 2015




Ilse Bing

(American, 1899–1998)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 43 x 40.4 cm (16 15/16 x 15 7/8 in.); Paper: 50.4 x 40.4 cm (19 13/16 x 15 7/8 in.)

Gift of George Stephanopoulos 2014.525



It is tempting to interpret this desiccated tree as foretelling Ilse Bing’s decision to give up photography in 1959 at age 60. “I had nothing more to say. . . . I did not want to repeat myself.” For three years she made films, but the medium was too costly. In 1962 she channeled her artistic energies into drawing, collage, and writing poetry. To earn a living, Bing became a dog groomer. After her art was rediscovered in the mid-1970s, she was able to enjoy two decades back in the art world spotlight. Bing died in New York City two weeks before a retrospective exhibition that was to open on her 99th birthday.


Ilse Bing: Queen of the Leica
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