Ilse Bing

Photography Centre, Rooms 99 – 101

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I felt that the camera grew an extension of my eyes and moved with me.

Ilse Bing

Known for her distinctive style and high degree of technical expertise, Ilse Bing (1899 – 1998) was one of the leading European photographers of the interwar period. Her rapid success and innovative use of one of the most advanced cameras of the age earned her the title 'Queen of the Leica'.

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Bing bequeathed a large body of her work to the V&A. This collection comprises over 50 photographs, mainly taken at the height of her career, including examples of her early work in Frankfurt, as well as some of her finest pieces from the 1930s. It includes both vintage prints and those made in the 1980s and 90s following a revival of interest in her work.

Collection Highlights

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Flower Girl, gelatin silver print, by Ilse Bing, 1931, Paris, France
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Paris, Moulin Rouge, French can-can dancer # 2, gelatin-silver print, by Ilse Bing, 1931, Paris, France
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Moving Railway, gelatin silver print, by Ilse Bing, 1929, Germany
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People in a Cemetery, gelatin silver print, by Ilse Bing, 1932, Paris, France
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Au Vieux Paris, solarised gelatin silver print, by Ilse Bing, 1934, Paris, France
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Dead End I, Queensborough Bridge, New York, gelatin silver print, by Ilse Bing, 1936, New York, US
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Shoes for Harpers Bazaar, gelatin-silver print, by Ilse Bing, 1935, Paris, France
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Self-portrait, gelatin silver print, by Ilse Bing, 1945, New York, US
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Rockerfeller Center and Chrysler Building Tops, New York, gelatin-silver print, by Ilse Bing, 1936, New York, US

Features

Background image: Rockerfeller Center and Chrysler Building Tops, New York, photograph by Ilse Bing, 1936, gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3029-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis