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Photograph - Music stands, theatre des Champs-Elysees

Music stands, theatre des Champs-Elysees

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (photographed)

  • Date:

    1933 (photographed)
    1980s (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 H

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.

Bing liked to remove objects from their context, focusing on the abstract, expressive qualities that materialised in her photographs. The Surrealists called this effect ‘dépaysement’ (removal from the natural sphere). ‘Things that are related and everyday are also related to something beyond, something you cannot catch’, Bing once said. Here the music stands, photographed before the performance of Balanchine's Errante, appear as dancing shapes, floating in the darkness of the theatre. The year she made this photograph, Bing met her husband, the concert pianist Konrad Wolff. He lived downstairs from her flat at 8, rue de Varenne, and his music drifted through the building.

Physical description

A black and white, semi-abstract photograph of sheets of music floating in the dark.

Place of Origin

Paris (photographed)


1933 (photographed)
1980s (printed)


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

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin-silver print

Marks and inscriptions

'ILSE/BING/1933 / 11/25'
reverse in pencil, written by Bing.

'ILSE BING 1933'
Artist's signature, white ink, top right of image

'ILSE BING 1933'
artist's signature, white ink, top left of image


Height: 28.1 cm sheet, Width: 35.3 cm sheet, Height: 17.5 cm image, Width: 30.5 cm image

Descriptive line

Music stands, theatre des Champs-Elysees, photograph by Ilse Bing, 1933, gelatin-silver print, printed later

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Ilse Bing: Three decades of photographyNancy C. Barrett (New Orleans Museum of Art, 1985)

Subjects depicted

Music stands


Photographs; Music


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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