Abbott, Berenice

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Abbott, Berenice

Berenice Abbott (bĕr´ənēs´), 1898–1991, American photographer, b. Springfield, Ohio. Abbott turned from sculpture to photography in 1923. She was assistant to Man Ray in Paris (1923–25), where she made an extraordinary series of portraits of the artistic and literary celebrities of the 1920s. She began her great documentation of New York City in 1929; many of the best photographs were collected in her book Changing New York (1939). In 1958, she produced a stunningly beautiful set of photographs for a high-school physics text that some critics consider her finest work. She discovered the work of Eugène Atget in 1925 and labored successfully to secure him international recognition.

See her Photographs (1970).

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