5 California Art Movements to Collect
Image/Sheet Size: 8 x 13.375 in. (20.2 x 33.8 cm), matted, unframed.
Mount Measures: 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.7 cm).
Although Ruth Bernhard began her career as a commercial photographer, it was a chance meeting with Edward Weston that convinced her of the creative possibilities of the photographic medium. Distinguished by their exquisite use of light and shadow, her photographs of nudes aimed "to transform the complexities of the figure into harmonies of simplified form revealing the innate reality, the life force, the spirit, the inherent symbolism."
 Quoted in Peter C. Bunnell, Ruth Bernhard: Photographs, exhibition brochure, Princeton University Art Museum, 1996.
—Courtesy of Skinner
Signature: Signed "Ruth Bernhard" in pencil on the mount l.r., titled, dated, and signed "...Ruth Bernhard" in pencil on the mount reverse, copyright stamp in black ink on mount reverse.
During her lifetime, Ruth Bernhard shot almost exclusively in black-and-white, focusing on the sensuality of the human body, resulting in images that are charged with erotic power. In her silver gelatin print, Mother & Child, Joane (1963), a mother clutches her infant, lovingly cradling it to her. Their nude bodies, contours, and bare skin mirror one another, creating formal as well as emotional depth. Bernhard was born in Berlin and studied at the city’s Academy of Art before moving to the United States in 1927. She counted Margrethe Mather and Edward Weston among her colleagues and friends, and claimed the two photographers were responsible for showing her that the medium was capable of artistry. She also produced photographs for the Museum of Modern Art’s first exhibition catalogue.
German, 1905-2006, Berlin, Germany, based in New York, New York