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Berenice Abbott (American, 1898–1991)
LOT ID: 66988
Portrait of Solita Solano, ie. circa 1920

Silver Print, gelatin silver print, mounted
13.5 х 10 in. (34.29 x 25.4 cm.)
Signed, Signed and editioned [39/60] in pencil below image on recto of mount.
Print/Casting Year 1981
Edition 39/60
Foundry/Publisher Parasol Press
Lot description
343 x 254 mm

Signed and editioned [39/60] in pencil below image on recto of mount. Printed under the direct supervision of the artist. From the portfolio entitled "Berenice Abbott, Faces of the '20's" published by Parasol Press, Ltd. in 1981.

Solita Solano / Sarah Wilkinson -
Sarah Wilkinson came from a middle-class family and attended the Emma Willard Collage in New York City. After the death of her father she left home and married her childhood sweetheart Oliver Filley. They spent the next four years in the Philippines, in China and Japan, where her husband worked as an engineer. They returned to New York in 1908 where she started work as a theatre critic with the New York Tribune and as a freelance contributor to the National Geographic Society. At this time she changed her name to Solita Solano.

In 1919 Solano got to know the journalist Janet Flanner in Greenwich Village with whom she started a relationship. In 1921 they travelled to Greece, where Janet was to work on a report for the "National Geographic" on Constantinopel. Solano had three books published, and as they were not very successful, returned to journalism. In the following year they travelled to France. In Paris they joined the intellectuel-lesbian circle of Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Natalie Clifford Barney, Romaine Brooks and Djuna Barnes.

At this time Janet Flanner started writing, under the Pseudonym Genêt, the Letter from Paris, for the The New Yorker. After the outbreak of World War II Solano and Flanner returned to New York. A few years later Solano left Flanner after she started an affair with Natalia Danesi Murray; meanwhile Solano fell in love with Elizabeth Jenks Clark. After the war Solano returned to France, where she died at the age of 87.[wiki]

Berenice Abbott -
American photographer Berenice Abbott was born in Springfield Ohio in 1898 and died in retirement in Monson, Maine in 1991. Except for a formative and influential decade in Paris in the 1920s, she spent most of her productive life in photography in New York City. Her five decades of accomplishments behind the camera range from portraiture and modernist experimentation to documentation and scientific interpretation. Her contributions as photographic educator, inventor, author and historian are equally diverse: she originated the photography program at the New School for Social Research and taught there from 1934-58; wrote several books and numerous articles including the once influential Guide to Better Photography (1941); received four U.S. patents for photographic and other devices; and rescued the work of French master photographer Eugene Atget.

Abbott's photographs consistently reflect her innate appreciation for the profound documentary capacity of rigorously conceived images to impart information in an aesthetically engaging way. Within four major thematic categories -- Portraits (1920s-1930s), New York City (1930s-1940s), Science (1940-1950s), and American Scenes (1930s-1960s) -- Abbott's photographs effectively unite the personal and the impersonal in one penetrating body of work. Her systematic documentary photography of New York City for the Federal Arts Project during 1935-1939, culminated in her definitive work Changing New York. [juliavanhaaften,nypl]
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