Berenice Abbott (American, 1898–1991) was a notable photographer, born in Springfield, OH. After studying at Ohio State University, she traveled to New York to study sculpture, where she met Modernist visionaries Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray. Abbott began studying photography in the early 1920s, when she traveled to Europe and briefly attended both the Académie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris and the Kunstschule in Berlin. While working as Man Ray’s assistant in Paris, Abbott first encountered the work of photographer Eugene Atget, whose influence became apparent in Abbott’s own work. Shortly thereafter, Abbott established a portrait studio, and photographed various artists and literary figures living in Paris, including James Joyce. Her first exhibition took place in 1926 at the Au Sacre du Printemps Gallery. In 1929, Abbott journeyed back to the United States and began what is perhaps her best-known project, a series of iconic photographs of New York City, which would make up her 1937 exhibition, Changing New York. Her book, also titled Changing New York, was subsequently published in 1938. Abbott was a teacher at the New School for Social Research until 1958, and established the Photo League with fellow American photographer Paul Strand in 1936. She died in Monson, ME in 1991.
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