Ilse Bing (American/German, 1899–1998), was a leading photojournalist and commercial photographer during the pre- and inter-War period in Paris. Bing was born in Frankfurt into a Jewish family who encouraged her intellectual education, as well as her education in arts and music. In the 1920s, while studying art history and mathematics at the universities in Frankfurt and Vienna, Bing purchased a Leica camera and immediately became intrigued with the world of photography. She rapidly became involved in the field, and got commissioned work for magazines such as Das Illustriete Blatt, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar. Her unique photographic work has earned her the title "Queen of the Leica" from her well-known artist peers.
In 1936, Ilse Bing was given a solo exhibition at the June Rhodes Gallery in New York, where she stayed for three months. Bing was impressed with New York City lifestyle and eventually, after marrying pianist Konrad Wolff in 1937, immigrated and lived there until her death in 1998.
Bing is known for her experimentations with photographic techniques, and for being among the first to use electronic flash, solarize her negatives, and to photograph at night. In 1957, she switched from black and white to color photography, and in 1959, abandoned photography completely. In 1976, she was rediscovered as a photographer by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.