Berenice Abbott by Bonnie Yochelson
Changing New York

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Synopsis

The highly acclaimed, definitive collection of Abbott's popular New York photographs. Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) was one of this century's greatest photographers, and her New York City images have come to define 1930's New York. The response to The New Press's landmark hardcover publication of Berenice Abbott: Changing New York was extraordinary. In addition to receiving rave reviews, it was chosen a best book of the year by the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and New York Newsday, and was featured in Vanity Fair, Newsweek, and the New York Daily News. A midwesterner who came to New York in 1918, Abbott moved to Paris in 1921 and worked as Man Ray's photographic assistant. Inspired by French photographer Atget, Abbott returned to America in 1929 to photograph New York City. With the financial support of the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project from 1935 to 1939, she was able to realize her ambition to document a "changing New York," a project that remains the centerpiece of her career. Now available for the first time in an affordable paperback edition, Berenice Abbott features more than 300 duotones, arranged geographically in eight sections tracing the photographer's New York City odyssey. It also includes 113 variant images, line drawings, and period maps, as well as an explanatory text, which explores Abbott's compositional choices, her artistic and historical preoccupations, and the history of New York. Features: - 307 duotones--the complete WPA project--more than 200 published here for the first time - 113 halftones and line drawings, including period maps, technical drawings, and alternate prints - An introductory essay on the life and work of Berenice Abbott - Extended annotations distilled from the never-before-accessed WPA field notes
 

About Bonnie Yochelson

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Bonnie Yochelson is a consulting curator at the Museum of the City of New York. Berenice Abbott was born in Ohio in 1898, and first established herself in commercial portraiture in Paris and later in New York. Besides creating masterful bodies of work of the changing face of New York, scientific phenomena, Route 1, and Maine, Abbott was an inventor of photographic equipment, a pioneer in the teaching of photographic techniques, and the first and most committed person to champion the work of the turn-of-the-century French photographer, Eugene Atget. Berenice Abbott died in Maine in December 1991.
 
Published January 1, 1997 by The New Press / The Museum of the City of New York. 399 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography, History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Berenice Abbott was a “fierce champion of photographic realism.” Though a renowned portrait photographer in Paris in the late 1920s, her landmark accomplishment was her Changing New York series, documenting the growth of New York City in the 1930s.

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Kirkus Reviews

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In 1935 Abbott (18981991), already an experienced documentary photographer, set out with a bulky view camera to capture Manhattan's streets and building facades, to provide a thorough record of how the city looked at one point in time.

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The Boston Globe

There are copies of the physics textbook Abbott contributed (and in multiple translations), a Kit-jaK, one of her view cameras, many examples of her correspondence, and two crates that the Smithsonian used to ship a traveling exhibition of her PSSC images to 32 venues.

May 04 2012 | Read Full Review of Berenice Abbott: Changing New...

Bloomberg

In 1957, after the Soviets had launched the Sputnik satellite, she was hired by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an illustrator of new textbooks meant to popularize science in U.S. schools.

Feb 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Berenice Abbott: Changing New...

Project MUSE

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Project MUSE

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