Ilse Bing, [Maid sweeping street, Veere, Holland], 1931
Celebrated in her day as “Queen of the Leica,” German photographer Ilse Bing is famous for pioneering the use of the 35 millimeter camera in the 1930s. In 1931, Hendrik Jan van Loon, an American writer of Dutch origin, invited Ms. Bing to the picturesque town of Veere, his home in the Netherlands. As it is today, Veere in the 1930s was preserved in time and resembled the perfect image of a Dutch town in the Golden Age. Bing’s photographs of Dutch women in their traditional gowns and small cottages alongside the cobblestone streets of Veere still show a soft focus and Pictorialist style. Some of her photographs of this period however already reflect the trend away from Pictorialism and towards Modernism: her compositions show the use of more straight lines and sharp edges to emphasize abstracted scenes of everyday subjects.