Ine Wiegers

1897 - 1965

 
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Working in complete isolation, Ine Wiegers created an unusually original oeuvre in fashion photography. Her insights are as fresh today as they were 60 years ago.

Outside Fashion
 
Ine Wiegers was born in Assen, a small city in the north of The Netherlands. There she was briefly active as a fashion photographer in the 1950's. Remarkably, when she started out she had already passed her 50th birthday. It is not entirely clear how she ended up doing this work, but through her husband, owner of a hardware store, she knew many business people. They obviously had to advertise their merchandise, which might have put her on the track.
Wiegers operated at the ‘lower end’ of her discipline and photographed mostly for local businesses and shops. Nevertheless, she developed an entirely original style. Known fashion photography was practiced mainly in the studio, whereas Wiegers always photographed her models in natural surroundings. The people in her pictures were mostly friends or acquaintances, but sometimes she asked persons in the street. More guided by a sympathetic character than by appearance, she thought that this strategy would focus attention on the products for sale instead of the model. This was of course a revolutionary way of looking at fashion photography.

It is said of Wiegers that she was very spontaneous and worked in a no-nonsense manner, which seems to be reflected in her work. One rarely notices decoration, props, artificial lighting or special camera techniques. Her most original and important innovation was perhaps the use of a grid to present her photos. A typical avant-garde art method that would not be in vogue for years to come. Through this mode of presentation, the customer could see at a glance the whole line of merchandise and comparison of different items was easy.

Because Wiegers spent all her life in Assen and was only briefly active as a photographer, it does not come as a surprise that she never got noticed by the (inter)national photography community. Her work is still of interest due to her approach towards subjects and the way in which she displayed her photos. It is not unlikely that her ideas and pictures will also inspire today’s fashion photographer.
 
 
 

Ine Wiegers instructing one of her models, c. 1955


 
 

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