Born: Berlin, Germany, 1905
Died: San Francisco, CA, 2006
Education: BA, University of California, Davis, 1982
MFA, University of California, Los Angeles, 1985
Ruth Bernhard began her career as a commercial photographer in the late 1920s in Manhattan. She was deeply inspired by Edward Weston, eventually becoming a part of the Modernist West Coast Photographic Movement. In the 1940s, Bernhard joined Weston, Ansel Adams, Minor White, Imogen Cunningham, Wynn Bullock, and Dorothea Lange in Group f.64.
Bernhard primarily photographed in her studio and in black and white, making compositions of still lifes and dramatically lit nude figures. Although she is most often recognized for her photographs of nude women, Bernhard’s main aspirations revolved around the formal discipline of creating abstract shapes and sculptural masses using composition, light, and shadow.
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