Skip to main content

Ilse Bing collection

Identifier: AG 189

Scope and Contents

Materials in the archive include several photo albums, vintage prints, collages, holiday cards, commercial prints, and family photographs. The collection has been minimally processed but all contents are accessible.


  • undated, bulk 1940-1955


Language of Materials

Material in English German

Conditions Governing Access

To access materials from this collection, please contact

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission from the copyright owner (which could be the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates or literary executors) prior to any copyright-protected uses of the collection.

The user agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents, the University of Arizona, Center of Creative Photography, including its officers, employees, and agents, from and against all claims made relating to copyright or other intellectual property infringement

Biographical Note

Ilse Bing (1899-1998) was a leading American-German photojournalist and commercial photographer during the pre- and inter-War period in Paris. She is remembered for her pioneering photographic techniques, and for being among the first to use electronic flash, solarize her negatives, and photograph at night. Born on March 23, 1899 to a Jewish family, she went on to study at universities in Frankfurt and Vienna. She purchased a Leica camera as a student, and though she was entirely self-taught, she achieved rapid recognition as a professional and artistic photographer with commissions from prominent publications such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar —earning her the moniker “Queen of the Leica.” She moved to Paris in 1930, where her work was exhibited alongside contemporaries such as André Kértesz, Brassaï, and Man Ray. Bing’s work was included in the seminal 1937 exhibition "Photography 1839–1937" at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, following an inclusion the previous year in the Louvre's first modern photography exhibition. After Paris was captured during the Second World War, the Jewish photographer was sent to an internment camp in the South of France. In 1941, Bing swiftly emigrated to the United States, where she continued to produce an ever-evolving body of work until her death on March 10, 1998 in New York, NY.


110 Boxes (48 linear feet)

Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


This collection consists of photo albums, vintage prints, commercial prints, contact sheets, collages, family photographs and holiday cards.


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Series 1: Photographic materials, n.d. [circa 2003], 44 boxes
  2. Series 2: Photo albums, circa 1940-1955, 65 boxes/albums

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were bequeathed to the Center for Creative Photography in 2002 as part of Ilse Bing Wolff’s last will and testament.

Related Materials

There are over 16,000 prints (circa 1930s to 1960s) in the Center’s fine print collection.

Photographs taken by Bing aboard the S.S. Winnipeg can be found in the Ilse Bing fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Processing Information

This collection has minimal processing. A container list was created in 2019.

Ilse Bing collection n.d., bulk 1940-1955
Finding aid created by CCP Archives Staff
© 2020
Description rules
Finding Aid Based On Dacs (Describing Archives: A Content Standard)
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid encoded in English

Repository Details

Part of the Center for Creative Photography Archives Repository

1030 N. Olive RD
Tucson Arizona 85721 United States