Berenice Abbott Biography

Ohio, United States of America, 1898

Bernice Abbott left Ohio State University in 1918 to move to New York City where she was introduced to the artistic and literary world. Best known for her black and white architectural photography of New York City, Berenice also spent two years studying sculpture in Paris and in Berlin as well as publishing poetry. She studied photography working as an assistant to Ray Man and had her first solo exhibition in 1926 at the ¨Au Sacre Printemps.¨

Abbott opened two studios in Paris and shot many literary artists such as James Joyce throughout the 1920's. Her work was seen in modernist exhibitions and displayed at the ¨Salon de l¨Escalier¨ and at the ¨Theatre de Champs �lysses.¨ After living and working in Paris, Abbott moved back to New York where she focused on un-manipulated photographs, known as straight photography, of the architecture and urbanism of New York City. She worked for the Federal Art Project as the supervisor for the project ¨Changing New York.¨ 305 of these photographs were given to the Museum of the City of New York in 1939. Abbott resided in Maine until dezath in 1991.

Literary Works

Atget, photographe de Paris, 1939. Photo editor.

Changing New York. 1939.

Greenich Village: Yesterday and Today. 1949.

A Vision of Paris. 1963.

The World of Atget. 1964.

A Portrait of Maine. 1968.

Museums and Collections

  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
  • Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
  • New York Public Library
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.
  • Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts
  • Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama
  • Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Maine
  • Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio
  • Harvard University Art Museums, Massachusetts
  • Hofstra Museum at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Montana Museum of Art and Culture, Missoula
  • Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, Chicago
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.
  • Springfield Museum of Art, Ohio
  • Tacoma Art Museum, Washington
  • Walker Art Center, Minnesota