Ruth Bernhard - In the Box-Horizontal
Ruth Bernhard
In the Box-Horizontal
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1962, Printed Later
7 3/8 x 13 1/8 inches, Framed 20 x 24 inches

Signed in pencil on the mount; signed, titled, and dated in pencil on the mount verso.

Ruth Bernhard - Classic Torso
Ruth Bernhard
Classic Torso
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1952, Printed Later
19 1/4 x 15 1/2 inches

Signed in pencil on the mount; signed, titled and dated in pencil on mount verso

Ruth Bernhard - Perspective II
Ruth Bernhard
Perspective II
Platinum/Palladium Photograph
1967, Printed 1996
14 X 20 Inches

Signed in pencil in the margin on recto. Title, date, copyright, edition 'Letter F of 6,' and printing notations in pencil on the verso

Ruth Bernhard - Two Leaves
Ruth Bernhard
Two Leaves
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1952, Printed c. 1980
13 3/4 X 10 1/2 inches

Artist's signature in pencil on mount's recto. Signed, titled and dated in pencil on mounts verso

Ruth Bernhard - Wet Silk
Ruth Bernhard
Wet Silk
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1938, Printed 1980s
13 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches

Signed in pencil, on mount recto. Signature, title, date, in pencil and copyright stamp, on mount verso

Ruth Bernhard - Symbiosis
Ruth Bernhard
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1971, Printed 1984
9 1/2 X 5 3/4 inches

Artist's signature and edition 11/75 in pencil on mount's recto. Book's hand stamp with title, date and edition notation on mount's verso

Ruth Bernhard - Spanish Dancer
Ruth Bernhard
Spanish Dancer
Silver Gelatin Photograph
7 7/8 x 13 1/4 inches

Signed in pencil on mount recto and verso, with date and title, additionally with Bernhard's stamp.

Ruth Bernhard - Classic Torso-TB
Ruth Bernhard - Perspective II - TB
Ruth Bernhard - Two Leaves - TB
Ruth Bernhard - Wet Silk - TB
Ruth Bernhard - Symbiosis - TB

Ruth Bernhard’s classical black-and-white photographs of the female nude and inanimate objects earned her a place of distinction among 20th century photographers. Bernhard was known primarily for her dramatically lit nude studies, which expressed her interest in abstract shape and form. Ruth Bernhard was born in Berlin in 1905. She followed her father to New York in 1927 after she completed two years at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin. Bernhard began photographing the female nude in the early 1930s and eventually became acquainted with Berenice Abbott and her artistic circle. She also supported herself with commercial photographic assignments. In 1935 a chance meeting with the photographer Edward Weston on the beach in Santa Monica, California, altered the course of Bernhard’s life. He became her mentor, and she studied with him for years. Seeing his pictures for the first time, she said was a revelation.

In the 1940s Bernhard became part of Group f/64, joining Modernist West Coast photographers like Weston, Ansel Adams, Minor White, Imogen Cunningham, and Dorothea Lange. All took a purist approach to their subjects. Their work is characterized by photographic clarity and detailed precision. Bernhard photographed almost exclusively in the studio. She was known to take a single picture from one specific angle after setting up a composition meticulously, sometimes over days. “If I have chosen the female form in particular, it is because beauty has been debased and exploited in our sensual 20th century. To raise, to elevate, to endorse with timeless reverence the image of woman has been my mission.” She published several books of photographs, and her work is in collections at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London among many others.