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Plants in a Gutter

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1952 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bing, Ilse, born 1899 - died 1998 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin-silver print

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Ilse Bing Wolff

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 909

Ilse Bing (1899–1998) was one of several leading women photographers in the inter-war period. Born into a Jewish family in Frankfurt, she initially pursued an academic career before moving to Paris in 1930 to concentrate on photography.

Paris presented a complex urban scene that was modern yet also worn and weathered. As with contemporary Surrealist townscapes, the past broke through. The clean planes and geometrical structures of the modern urban fabric cast light on the battered remains of an older place – the exhausted pomp of the Père Lachaise cemetery, or dark apartment blocks reflected in gutters. Her best images of Paris are informed by a chaotic layering of signs of disregarded culture, like the wasted potted plants in her study of a pavement or the abject torn posters on a wooden fence.

Physical description

Black and white photograph of several potted plants in a watery gutter.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1952 (made)


Bing, Ilse, born 1899 - died 1998 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin-silver print

Marks and inscriptions

'Ilse Bing 1952'
reverse, in pencil, in Bing's hand

cataloguing reference prior to acquisition by V&A


Width: 40.4 cm sheet, Height: 50.4 cm sheet, Width: 40.4 cm image, Height: 45.6 cm image

Descriptive line

Untitled, plants in a gutter, photograph by Ilse Bing 1953

Subjects depicted

Plant; Gutters; Pavement




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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