of Ruth Bernhard by Larry Colwell
Portrait of Ruth Bernhard by Camille Solyagua
|Ruth Bernhard was born in Berlin in 1905. In
1927, after two years at the Berlin Academy of Art, Ruth moved
to New York where she began to seriously pursue a career in
photography. Eight years later she met Edward Weston in California
and was deeply moved by his work. He revealed to her the profound
creative potential of photography and its artistic implications.
Desiring to work with him, she moved to the West Coast shortly
In 1953, she moved to San Francisco and became a colleague of
Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Minor White and Wynn Bullock.
She has lectured and conducted master classes throughout the United
States through her 95th birthday.
Ruth Bernhards work can be found in most major museum collections
throughout the world, including the George Eastman House, Museum
of Modern Art in New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and
the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. Her photographs have been
shown internationally in major exhibitions for over fifty years
and widely published. In 1986, Photography West published an acclaimed
monograph of her nudes entitled The Eternal Body which
received Photography Book of the Year and brought Bernhard widespread
acclaim as a photographer of the nude.
"My aim is to transform the complexities of the figure into
harmonies of simplified forms revealing the innate reality, the
life force, the spirit, the inherent symbolism and the underlying
remarkable structure to isolate and give emphasis to form
with the greatest clarity."