Bernd and Hilla Becher
Water Towers
The MIT Press, Cambridge, USA, 1997
Reyner Banham, Weston J. Naef
pages 240
fourth edition
dimensions 29.5 × 23.5 cm, hardcover with jacket
language English
ISBN 026202277X
Bernd & Hilla Becher

Bernhard Becher (20.08.1931 Siegen, Germany - 2.06.2007, Rostock, Germany), known as Bernd studied painting at the Stuttgart Academy of Fine Arts from 1953 to 1956 and then turned to printmaking with Austrian Karl Rössing at the Düsseldorf Academy. His family had for generations worked in industry in the Ruhr area, which, however, just in the 1950s began to downsize. Bernd then decided to devote himself to illustrations concerning the family's working environment. In 1957 he photographed a mine that was to be decommissioned so that he could use the photos as working material; as a result of this experience, he realized that he had an interest in photography. At the Academy, he met student Hilla Wobeser, who taught him photography, and together they made their first photographic reportage in the Ruhr region. Hilla Wobeser (2.09.1934 Potsdam, Germany – 10.10.2015 Düsseldorf, Germany) became interested in photography at a young age thanks to her mother and uncle, both professional photographers. In 1951 she became an apprentice to Walter Eichgrun, a well-known photographer, and at the same time attended, as her mother had already done, photography school at the Lette-Verein in Berlin. While working with Eichgrun, Hilla performs several freelance assignments and shows a strong interest in industrial photography. She becomes a professional photographer in 1954. In 1957 she moves to Hamburg and enrolls at the Düsseldorf Academy, where she meets painting student Bernd Becher. In 1961 they married and began working as photographers for the Troost advertising agency in Düsseldorf.