EXHIBITION: 19 June - 31 August

Ilse Bing: Portraits

This exhibition presents Glyndebourne’s collection of photographic prints by Ilse Bing - one of Europe’s leading photographers in the interwar period - for the first time.

Intimate informality

Ilse Bing likely came to Glyndebourne as a result of her friendship with Fritz Busch. She was particularly proud of her associations with musicians, including that of Busch, Glyndebourne’s first Music Director.

In addition to her commercial photography, Bing was known for her portrait photography, a relatively lucrative line of work for the photographer. The images of Busch and Carl Ebert (Glyndebourne’s first Artistic Director) were taken at Bing’s studio in Paris in 1937, the same year she visited Glyndebourne.

Carl Ebert, 1937
Ilse Bing
Gelatin silver print
26cm x 20.5cm

Fritz Busch, 1937
Ilse Bing
Gelatin silver print
20.5cm x 26cm

Of her studio portraits, the Dutch-American writer Hendrik Willem Van Loon explained that ‘She has none of the pliable and amiable tricks of successful portraitis [sic]. She will sit for hours around you and creep into you until at last she has got what she wants and then invariably it is perfect.’ A technique that is the antithesis of her quick photography that documents live performance. What is captured in these portraits is an intimacy and informality that would be lost with a more straightforward traditional approach.


Continue the exhibition…

All Ilse Bing photography © The Estate of Ilse Bing. All other works © the artist

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