Berenice Abbott: Changing New York

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New York, New York, U.S.A. 1999 Paperback New 1565845560. FLAWLESS COPY, BRAND NEW, PRISTINE, NEVER OPENED-399 pages. "Now in paperback, 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 193 Read more Show Less

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Overview

Now in paperback, 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
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Editorial Reviews

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In 1935, Berenice Abbott, with the backing of the WPA, set about to document New York City in much the same way one of her heroes, Eugène Atget, had documented Paris years before. It was a time of great change in New York. The city was reaching for the sky, and Abbott took up the task of not only depicting the skyscrapers as they rose but also of capturing old New York before it disappeared entirely. She succeeded magnificently. Now available for the first time in an affordable paperback edition, Berenice Abbott: Changing New York features more than 300 duotones plus 113 variant images, line drawings, period maps, and an explanatory text, which explores Abbott's compositional choices, her artistic and historical preoccupations, and the history of New York.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565845565
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 12/1/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 9.12 (w) x 12.06 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2001

    One of the Finest Collections of New York City Photographs

    This book is a great choice for those who love great photography, Berenice Abbott fans, those who are interested in the history of New York in the 1930s, and those who would like to enjoy a little nostalgia about their formative years in that magnificent city. Berenice Abbott returned from 8 years in Europe at age 30 in January 1929, planning on a short stay. Instead, she was transfixed by the changes in the New York City scene, and became obsessed by the opportunity to capture it photographically. For the next 10 years this was her focus. During the depths of the Depression, she was able to obtain a grant from the WPA to work with the Museum of the City of New York to create an exhaustive photographic essay of the city. This book contains the finest flowers of that remarkable assignment in 305 black and white photographs, a biographical essay about Abbott, maps of where the photographs were taken, and extensive notes on the locations and the photographic perspectives used. The biographical essay was made more interesting by describing Abbott's strenuous financial and promotional efforts to support Atget's collection, while staving off poverty herself. The many fights over how to do the New York City project also make good reading as background for the images. Independent by nature, that quality of Abbott's probably improved the result in this case. The presentation of the images is organized around the different geographical sections of Manhattan and the other boroughs, especially Brooklyn. As a result, you get a sense of neighborhoods as well as of individual images and locations. As someone who learned photography from Man Ray, Abbott is a good student of abstract methods, and she subtly captures the surreal and the predominant design feeling contained in these subjects. Her works that are most like Man Ray's were the ones that most attracted me. I am very impressed by the encyclopedic knowledge that she must have developed of New York City to locate so many rewarding sights for us to consider. My only quibble about the book was that in some sections the reproduction was too dark, so that details were unnecessarily lost that would have been of interest. But the page sizes were good for the images being presented, the design is solid, and the overall print quality was good. My favorite images in the book were: Immigration Building, Ellis Island; Theoline, Pier 11, East River; Tugboats, Pier 11, East River; City Arabesque; Brooklyn Bridge with Pier 21, Pennsylvania Railroad; Henry Street; Manhattan Bridge; Gunsmith; Hot Dog Stand; Wrought Iron Ornament; Doorway, 204 West 13th Street; Fifth Avenue Theatre, Orchestra, Boxes, First and Second Balconies; Father Duffy [wrapped like a Christo], Times Square; Gramercy Park West, Nos. 3-4; J.P. Morgan House; Murray Hill Hotel, Spiral; Billie's Bar; Wheelock House; and Watuppa, from Brooklyn Waterfront.

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