“Self Portrait In Mirrors” by Ilse Bing: March Collection Highlight
Learn about Ilse Bing, a photographer whose work documented the “new woman” of the early twentieth century.
Ilse Bing (American, born Germany, 1899–1998) received her first camera as a teenager and continued to explore the medium as a complement to her doctoral studies in art history. By 1929, she decided to pursue photography professionally and moved from Frankfurt to Paris, where she quickly established herself as a leading photojournalist.
A highly experimental printer, she was also among the earliest photographers to adopt the newly introduced 35 mm Leica camera, whose small size and fast shutter allowed her to experiment boldly with angles, cropping, and movement.
Bing made numerous self-portraits, including this famous rendering of herself in mirrors, a complex and dazzling image that shows her with her revered Leica.
As she later put it, “I felt the camera grew as an extension of my eyes and moved with me.”
In the video above, learn more about Ilse Bing from Sarah Kennel, the High’s Keough Family Curator of Photography. See works by Bing and other artists in the High’s upcoming exhibition Underexposed: Women Photographers from the Collection (on view April 17 through August 1).
Underexposed: Women Photographers from the Collection
For nearly all of photography's one hundred eighty-year history, women have shaped the development of the art form and…