In 1958, Danish born Winnie Denker came to Paris. Over the twenty years that followed, which she spent both in Paris and New York, she dedicated herself to fashion and still-life photography. That was until 1985 and a landmark encounter with the Eiffel Tower. Since then her passion has been for architecture and global cultural heritage.
She admits that she has a particular fascination for such monuments, though this is coupled with her own method of highlighting the fact that, until the 20th century, women could not penetrate the closed circle of master builders.
Her documentation of these testaments to male ingenuity is thus all the while informing the construction of her own stand-alone work. For Denker is one of the few photographers in the world working in a 20X25 format and using Fresson Printing: this is a unique technique involving gold, charcoal and coloured pigments.
Her enduring love affair with the Eiffel Tower, which has now lasted more than twenty years, has produced three publications: La Sentinelle de Paris in 1989 to celebrate the tower’s centenary (ed. by Robert Laffont), Paris, fêtes et lumières in 1993 (ed. by Images-Magie) and, La Tour Eiffel (ed. by Mengès) in 2004.
At the same time, as an UNESCO appointed representative, she led a number of humanitarian missions in the name of world heritage and has travelled the world over. (Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Syria, Cairo, Libya) Consequently her reference books have also been published in multiple languages. Catherine the Great (ed. New Orleans) in 1995, The Civilisation of St. Petersburg (ed. Mengès) in 2000 and Constantinople (ed. Mengès) in 2001.
Her work is regularly exhibited in large capital cities and it brings her great joy to see her permanent exhibitions at the Ermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Galerie W in Paris: two places that are so far from one another and yet, at the same time, so intertwined.