Bernd & Hilla Becher

Bernd & Hilla Becher

Author:Jeff L. Rosenheim

Publisher:MoMA

ISBN: 9781588397553

  • Hardcover
  • English
  • 304 Pages
  • Jul 19, 2022

The first comprehensive, posthumous monograph and retrospective on Bernd and Hilla Becher, best known for their photographs of industrial structures in Europe and North America.

For more than five decades, Bernd (1931–2007) and Hilla (1934–2015) Becher collaborated on extraordinary photographs of industrial architecture in Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Great Britain, and the United States. This sweeping monograph features 150 of the Bechers’ quintessential pictures of water towers, gas tanks, and blast furnaces that became sculptural objects through their lens and presentation methods. Also included are little-known or unpublished works beyond the Bechers’ iconic Typologies, such as Bernd’s early drawings, Hilla’s independent photographs, and excerpts from their notes, sketchbooks, and journals. Essays by Virginia Heckert and Gabriele Conrath-Scholl offer new insights into the development of the artists’ exacting process; their work’s precedents and conceptual underpinnings; and their legacy. Award-winning cultural historian Lucy Sante places the Bechers’ photographs within the context of deindustrialization and its impact on the physical and cultural landscape. An interview with Max Becher, the artists’ son, explores their artistic methods and collaborative relationship. Showcasing the photographic, architectural, and emotional aspects of their starkly beautiful work, this volume offers an unrivaled look into the Bechers’ art alongside their career, life, and subjects.


Jeff L. Rosenheim is Joyce Frank Menschel Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The first comprehensive, posthumous monograph and retrospective on Bernd and Hilla Becher, best known for their photographs of industrial structures in Europe and North America.

For more than five decades, Bernd (1931–2007) and Hilla (1934–2015) Becher collaborated on extraordinary photographs of industrial architecture in Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Great Britain, and the United States. This sweeping monograph features 150 of the Bechers’ quintessential pictures of water towers, gas tanks, and blast furnaces that became sculptural objects through their lens and presentation methods. Also included are little-known or unpublished works beyond the Bechers’ iconic Typologies, such as Bernd’s early drawings, Hilla’s independent photographs, and excerpts from their notes, sketchbooks, and journals. Essays by Virginia Heckert and Gabriele Conrath-Scholl offer new insights into the development of the artists’ exacting process; their work’s precedents and conceptual underpinnings; and their legacy. Award-winning cultural historian Lucy Sante places the Bechers’ photographs within the context of deindustrialization and its impact on the physical and cultural landscape. An interview with Max Becher, the artists’ son, explores their artistic methods and collaborative relationship. Showcasing the photographic, architectural, and emotional aspects of their starkly beautiful work, this volume offers an unrivaled look into the Bechers’ art alongside their career, life, and subjects.


Jeff L. Rosenheim is Joyce Frank Menschel Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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