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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

[Stairway, Eiffel Tower, Paris]

Artist:
Ilse Bing (German, 1899–1998)
Date:
1931
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
22.3 x 28.2 cm (8 3/4 x 11 1/8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.1100.336
Rights and Reproduction:
© Estate of Ilse Bing, Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery
Not on view
Rather than emphasize the vertical height of the Eiffel Tower or its iconic status, Bing’s photograph plunges us into the dizzying midst of its iron frame. Stairs and beams run at unexpected angles to one another, intersecting and overlapping to create visual pulls in countervailing directions. Three figures, facing in opposite directions, underscore this sense of fragmented space and centrifugal energy. Like other photographers in Germany and France during these years, Bing makes use of unconventional viewpoints, angling her camera skyward to foreground the visual nature of urban experience in the modern metropolis.
Inscription: Signed in ink on print, recto UR: "ILSE // BING // 1931"
[Allan Frumkin Gallery, Chicago, to Waddell, December 6, 1985]; John C. Waddell

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paris as Muse: Photography, 1840s – 1930s," January 27, 2014–May 4, 2014.

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