Lot Details

Berenice Abbott, Fifth Avenue, Nos. 4, 6, 8, March 20, 1936. Gelatin silver prints, 10.5 x 13.5 inches, 26.6 x 34.3 centimeters. Mounted on 16 x 20 inch (40.6 x 50.8 centimeters) museum board. Edition 4 of 60. Signed. Comes with original documentary sheets.

Published in 1979 from the original negative.

Berenice Abbott (1898-1991)

The challenge for me has first been to see things as they are, whether a portrait, a city street, or a bouncing ball. In a word, I have tried to be objective. What I mean by objectivity is not the objectivity of a machine, but of a sensible human being with the mystery of personal selection at the heart of it. The second challenge has been to impose order onto the things seen and to supply the visual context and the intellectual framework – that to me is the art of photography.
—Berenice Abbott

At age seventy-seven Berenice Abbott thus explained her approach to making images. She learned photography in the 1920s in Paris, as a studio assistant of fellow American expatriate Man Ray. She soon opened her own portrait studio, where she photographed artists and intellectuals living in Paris, including James Joyce and Eugène Atget. After Atget's death, Abbott was instrumental in promoting his work by preserving his prints and negatives and arranging for publications and exhibitions of his photographs. She returned to the United States and began to photograph the architectural landscape of New York City, which resulted in the publication Changing New York. She taught at the New School for Social Research in New York from the 1930s until 1958.[getty.edu]

Read more
Publication: Abbott, Berenice. Berenice Abbott / by Hank O'Neal, Berenice Abbott (Photographer). Gottingen : Steidl Photography International, 2008. Yochelson, Bonnie. Berenice Abbott : Changing New York / Bonnie Yochelson. New York : New Press : Museum of the City of New York : Distributed by W.W. Norton & Co., c1997. Abbott, Berenice. Berenice Abbott / with an essay by Julia Van Haaften. New York, N.Y. : Aperture Foundation, 1988. O’Neal, Hank. Berenice Abbott, American photographer / by Hank O’Neal ; introduction by John Canaday ; commentary by Berenice Abbott. New York : McGraw-Hill, c1982. Lanier, Henry Wysham. Greenwich Village, today & yesterday. Photographs by Berenice Abbott. New York, Harper [1949]. Abbott, Berenice. Changing New York; photographs by Berenice Abbott, text by Elizabeth McCausland; a publication of the Federal art project of the Works progress administration in the city of New York, under the sponsorship of the Guilds’ committee for Federal writers’ publications, inc. New York, E.P. Dutton & company, inc., 1939.
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  • Pickup Location: Florida, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 10.5 x 13.5 in. (26.67 x 34.29 cm.)
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