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Lamp Posts

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.




Ilse Bing
American, born Germany, 1899–1998

About this artwork

Ilse Bing’s career reflects the freedoms photography offered women in the early twentieth century. Born in Germany, Bing moved to Paris in 1930, where she contributed to the emerging picture press and made her career alongside André Kertész, Man Ray, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Dubbed “Queen of the Leica” for her mastery of the new handheld 35mm camera, Bing combined trenchant observation with dizzying viewpoints, off-kilter angles, and abrupt cropping. She particularly liked the experimentation necessitated by working at night: this otherworldly image from her Paris streetlights series, for example, uses darkroom solarization (partial reversal of light and dark tones) to heighten an atmosphere of mystery. Photography editor Emmanuel Sougez wrote in 1934 that in Bing’s work we can see “a magic halo, an enchantment surrounding reality.”


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Ilse Bing


Lamp Posts


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1934


Gelatin silver print


Image/paper: 18.8 × 28.1 cm (7 7/16 × 11 1/8 in.); Hinged album page: 34.9 × 42 cm (13 3/4 × 16 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Nicholas and Susan Pritzker

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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