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ringl + pit
Gelatin silver print
35.3 x 22.7 cm (13 7/8 x 8 15/16 ins)
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987, Accession Number: 1987.1100.206, ©2010 VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Curatorial description (Accessed: 12 September 2015)
Ringl and Pit were the childhood nicknames of Grete Stern (Ringl) and Ellen Auerbach (Pit). Together, they established a photography studio in 1930 in Berlin. Both studied privately with Walter Peterhans, a photography instructor at the Bauhaus, whose promulgation of a highly rationalized style of advertising photography--one that signified "machine made" in its emphasis on sleek form and graphic design--was proposed as a solution to the question of art's role in industrial society.
This advertisement for Dents, a leather glove manufacturer, was made in England, where Stern and Auerbach (both Jewish) emigrated in 1933. In their representation of the "modern woman," a new social type emerging out of the political upheaval of the Weimar Republic, the duo employed visual strategies subversive to traditional conceptions of woman. Often using mannequins, wigs, and other symbols of femininity, Stern and Auerbach worked to question the artifice and masquerade of feminine identity.