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The Old Print Shop
150 Lexington Avenue
Between 29 & 30th Sts.
New York, NY 10016
tel: 212-683-3950
fax: 212-779-8040
info @ oldprintshop.com

Hours (EST):
9am to 5pm
9am to 4pm

Click here to see our available inventory for Berenice Abbott

Berenice Abbott (1898-1991)

Special note about our Berenice Abbott photographs.

1 - All of the photographs in our collection are 1930's vintage impressions.
2 - All are WPA Changing New York stamped on verso.
3 - Most are in nearly perfect condition, all condition defects are described.
4 - The Old Print Shop's guarantee comes with every Abbott photograph.

CLICK HERE, To see our complete inventory of Berenice Abbott.

CLICK HERE, To see the special on-line exhibition of Berenice Abbott photographs

CLICK HERE to see TWELVE new photos added June 11, 2002

Berenice Abbott - (1898-1991)

Berenice Abbott was born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1898. She briefly studied journalism at Ohio State University before leaving for New York where she lived on MacDougal Street in the middle of the Bohemian community in Greenwich Village. She performed small roles in plays before contracting influenza that killed thousands of New Yorkers and nearly killed her. After she recovered, Abbott returned to New York determined to become a sculptor. At this time, she met and befriended the artists, Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. Her friendship with Man Ray would prove pivotal in her photography career. Like so many young American artists in the early twentieth-century, she left for Paris seeking an artistic freedom which not available in America at the time. After living there a few years, Abbott decided to study in Berlin; however, she quickly returned to Paris only to find herself without a studio or income.

Her old friend, Man Ray, had opened a portrait studio in 1921 and was looking for an assistant who knew nothing about photography. Berenice Abbott knew nothing about photography, so she was a perfect fit. She took to the new medium quickly, and soon her reputation rivaled his as a portrait photographer. After two years, she opened her own studio and was very successful at getting portrait commissions including James Joyce, Jean Cocteau, Peggy Guggenheim, and Eugene Atget. She photographed Atget just before his death in 1927. Abbott had become very fond of his wonderful views of Paris and had purchased several of his photographs. After his death, she persisted in purchasing his estate and saving his work for future generations.

After returning to New York in 1929 for a short visit, she was overwhelmed with the changes in the United States and City of New York. She quickly decided that she wanted to return to New York and document the changing city as Atget had done in Paris. Although it took several years to get backing for her Changing New York project, eventually with the assistance of The Museum of the City of New York and the WPA, she was able to begin one of the greatest projects of her fabulous career.

We are pleased to offer this wonderful collection of vintage photographs from the Changing New York series. This is not only because of our interest overall in images of New York over the last three hundred years, but also because Berenice Abbott photographed my father, Kenneth M. Newman, and my grandmother, Helen Newman. For a short period of time during the early 1940's, Abbott also took promotional photographs in The Old Print Shop.

A biography and a full description of the Changing New York photographs can be found in Berenice Abbott: Changing New York by Bonnie Yochelson published by The Museum of the City of New York, 1997.

CLICK HERE, To see the special on-line exhibition of Berenice Abbott photographs

Click here to see our available inventory for Berenice Abbott