On Monday, the photo world lost one of its beloved personalities, Ruth Bernhard. Famously inspired by Edward Weston to take her photography seriously, the 101-year-old German-born photographer was a contemporary of Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham and a teacher of Michael Kenna. Yet her name does not reside on the tip of most people’s tongues, as these do. Her “small but important body of work” was “well-regarded in photography circles,” as the Los Angeles Times puts it. “It was an unusual success story,” Stephen White, Berhard’s photography dealer in L. A. in the ’70s and ’80s, says in the same story.
It’s sad that Bernhard remains relatively unknown, because her female nudes are regarded as precursors to the ’70s feminist approach and her teaching in later years touched the lives of many talented photographers. As an insufficient but loving homage to Bernhard, we offer the following links about her life and work.