Ruth Bernhard

1905-2006

San Francisco based photographer, Ruth Bernhard began her career at the age of 24 in New York as a darkroom assistant to Ralph Steiner. It was through Edward Weston that the young artist was introduced to the artistic and creative potential of photography. She later moved to California where she became artistically linked Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Minor White and Wynn Bullock. In 1953, Ruth Bernhard moved to San Francisco, where she made her home until her death in 2006.

A major contributor and influence in the national photography community, Ruth Bernhard lectured and conducted master classes throughout the United States until the age of 95. Although she made a career in commercial photography, it was her personal, creative work that won her acclaim. Her nude images of women are highly regarded and exude a feeling of sentimentality and intimate perspective. She was hailed by Ansel Adams as “the greatest photographer of the nude”.