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Equestrian acrobats (Madison Square Gardens Circus, New York)

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    New York (City) (photographed)

  • Date:

    1936 (photographed)
    1994 (printed)

  • 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 913, box J

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.

This photograph was taken during a trip to New York organised by the author Hendrik Willem Van Loon, who supported Bing and facilitated a solo show at the June Rhodes Gallery in 1936. Bing was well received and met the photographer Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946), who introduced ‘a new world’ to her. Bing photographed the circus but also images of horses and dancers in Paris. This photograph evokes the modern spectacle, the blurring suggesting the fast pace of modern entertainment. The strong contrast between light and dark increases the intensity and excitement in the image.

Physical description

Black and white photograph of Madison Square Garden Circus acrobats taken by Ilse Bing in 1936

Place of Origin

New York (City) (photographed)


1936 (photographed)
1994 (printed)


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

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin-silver print

Marks and inscriptions

'ILSE BING 1936 / 94 / equestrian acrobats'
Hand written in pencil on reverse by artist

'ILSE BING / 1936'
Hand written in white ink in the top right hand corner of the photograph

'equestrian acrobats'
Written in pencil on reverse by artist


Height: 28 cm sheet, Width: 35.2 cm sheet, Height: 24.5 cm image, Width: 31.6 cm image

Descriptive line

Equestrian acrobats (Madison Square Gardens Circus, New York), photograph by Ilse Bing (1899-1998), 1936, printed later

Subjects depicted

Horses; Acrobats; Circuses (performances); Audience




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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