Jörg Maass Kunsthandel

Ilse Bing

(American/German, 1899–1998)

empire state building by ilse bing

Ilse Bing

Empire State Building, 1936

flags, fifth avenue, fourth of july, new york by ilse bing

Ilse Bing

Flags, Fifth Avenue, Fourth of July, New York, 1936

new york by ilse bing

Ilse Bing

New York, 1936



Born in Frankfurt to affluent bourgeois family.
Enrolls in the University of Frankfurt to study mathematics and physics but soon changes to art history eventually pursuing a doctoral degree.
To illustrate her dissertation on an architect, she takes up photography and begins using a 9x12c, Voigtlander plate camera. She eventually abandons her dissertation to pursue a career as photographer.
1929 - 1930
Her photographs are reproduced in photo-essays for Frankfurter Illustriete’s weekly supplement Das Illustriete Blatt.
Purchases a Leica camera enjoying the freedom it provides
1930 - 1939
Her portraits, fashion and architectural studies are published in VU, Harper’s Bazaar, Le Monde, L’Illustration, Illustré, and Regards. Her work is included in the Groupe Annuel des Photographes at La Pleiade in 1931, 1932, 1933, and 1938 alongside that of Germaine Krull, André Kertesz, Florence Henri, Emmanuel Sougez, Man Ray, Henri Cartier-Bresson. Despite this she does not communicate or work closely with other photographers.
Moves to Paris in the Fall.
New York gallerist Julien Levy includes Bing’s work in his seminal exhibition
Experiments with solarization (which she discovered independently of Man Ray) to create a dream-like night-time atmosphere of statuaries, lights, and water.
At the invitation of Carmel Snow she visits the US where she meets Alfred Stieglitz. This same year she has solo exhibitions at Galerie Chasseurs d’Images, Paris and Musée des Arts Décoratifs


“Paris in Transition: Photographs from the National Gallery”, National Gallery, Washington, DC - USA
“Town and Country: Modern Life in America” Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA- USA
2004 - 2005
“Ilse Bing: Queen of Leica” Victoria & Albert Museum, London- UK (solo)
“French Photography of the1930s and 1940s”, Zabriskie Gallery, NY – USA
“My America: Art from the Jewish Museum Collection, 1900- 1955” Jewish Museum, New York, NY – USA. Traveled: Memorial Art Museum, Rochester University, Rochester, NY- USA
“Insight: Women’s Photographs From the Collection of the George Eastman House”, Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, NY - USA
“ilse Bing”, Edwynn Houk, New York, NY – USA (solo)
“History of Women Photographers” New York Public Library, NY – USA
“Ilse Bing-Fotografien 1929-1956” Suermondt-Ludwig Museum, Aachen- Germany (solo)
“Ilse Bing: Moulin Rouge, Paris, 1931”, Houk Friedman, NY _ USA (solo)
“Ilse Bing: Vintage Photographs”, Galerie Zur Stockeregg, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
“Ilse Bing: Frankfurt, Paris, New York”, Houk Friedman, NY – USA (solo)
“The New Vision: Photography Between the World Wars, Ford Motor Company Collection”, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY - USA
“Ilse Bing: Germany, Paris, New York”, Edwynn Houk Gallery, Chicago, IL- USA (solo)


Ilse Bing: Through the Looking Glass. Larisa Dryansky. Photographs edited by Edwynn Houk: Abrams, New York, 2006
Photographers Encyclopedia International, 1839 to the present, A-K. Michele and Michel Auer. Editions Camera Obscura: Hermance, Switzerland, 1985
Ilse Bing: Three Decades of Photography. Nancy C. Barrett. New Orleans Museum of Art. 1985
Ilse Bing: Vision of a Century. Edwynn Houk Gallery: New York, NY, 1998
Ilse Bing: Paris 1931-1952. Françoise Reynaud, Bernard de Montgolfier. 1987. Paris Musées, Muse Carnalvalet.