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Ilse Bing

Room 100 – currently closed

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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.

Exploring Ilse Bing

Photo of Flower Girl, photograph by Ilse Bing, 1931, gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3044-2004, Paris. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis
Flower Girl, photograph by Ilse Bing, 1931, gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3044-2004, Paris. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis

Photo of Paris, Moulin Rouge, French can-can dancer # 2, photograph by Ilse Bing, 1931. Museum no. E.3064-2004, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis
Paris, Moulin Rouge, French can-can dancer # 2, photograph by Ilse Bing, 1931. Museum no. E.3064-2004, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis

Photo of Moving Railway, photograph by Ilse Bing, photographed 1929, printed after 1929, Germany, gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3035-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis
Moving Railway, photograph by Ilse Bing, photographed 1929, printed after 1929, Germany, gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3035-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis

Photo of People in a Cemetery, photograph by Ilse Bing, photographed 1932, printed after 1932, Paris, gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3032-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis
People in a Cemetery, photograph by Ilse Bing, photographed 1932, printed after 1932, Paris, gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3032-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis

Photo of Au Vieux Paris, photograph by Ilse Bing, 1934, solarised gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3051-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis
Au Vieux Paris, photograph by Ilse Bing, 1934, solarised gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3051-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis

Photo of Dead End I, Queensborough Bridge, New York, photograph by Ilse Bing, 1936, gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3038-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis
Dead End I, Queensborough Bridge, New York, photograph by Ilse Bing, 1936, gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3038-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis

Photo of Shoes for Harpers Bazaar, photograph by Ilse Bing, photographed 1935, printed 1988, gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3033-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis
Shoes for Harpers Bazaar, photograph by Ilse Bing, photographed 1935, printed 1988, gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3033-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis

Photo of Self-portrait, photograph by Ilse Bing, 1945, New York, gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3039-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis
Self-portrait, photograph by Ilse Bing, 1945, New York, gelatin silver print. Museum no. E.3039-2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Estate of Ilse Bing, courtesy Michael Mattis

Photo of 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
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

Learn more about Ilse Bing

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