Bernd & Hilla Becher

1931–2007; 1934–2015

After an apprenticeship as a decorative painter, Bernd Becher (German, 1931–2007) studied painting in Stuttgart. In 1957 he continued his studies at the Akademie der Künste in Düsseldorf and began to photograph. Hilla Wobeser (German, 1934–2015) completed a photography apprenticeship and also entered the Düsseldorf Akademie der Künste in 1958. She set up the academy’s photography lab and taught introductory courses. Starting in 1959 they began collaborating on systematic photographic typologies of 19th- and 20th-century architecture in Germany, Europe, and the US, which have also been published as books. Bernd Becher was appointed professor at the Akademie der Künste in Düsseldorf in 1976 and led the newly established photography class together with his wife. Among others, their students have included Candida Höfer, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky, and Götz Diergarten.