Sunday, July 17, 2011

Today in photography history

This photograph of the Hot Dog Stand Vendor, on West Moore street in Manhattan was taken by the American photographer Berenice Abbott, 1936.

Born Bernice Abbott, 17 July 1898 of Springfield, Ohio. She died 9 December 1991 in Monson, Maine. She would be 113 years today.

Berenice Abott is most notable for her work "On Changing New York" and her promotion and publication of works of French photographer Eugene Atget.

As an journalist major at Ohio State University, she came to New York city and settled in Greenwich Village amongst the literacy and art crowd. Moving on to Paris as many artist of this time,where she changed the spelling of her name, she became a darkroom assistant to photographer Man Ray. In 1925 Man Ray introduced her to the work of Atget.
Abbott became a great admirer of Atget's work, which was very strong in straight  forward documentation of Paris street life and French architecture  during the early 1900's. She would return to New York to photograph much in the same way as Atget. Shortly before his death in 1927, Eugene Atget sat for a portrait with Berenice Abbott. Other subjects she photographed were James Joyce and Jean Cocteau.

Berenice Abbott was able to secure a portion of Atgets negatives where she went on to publish books and mount exhibitions of his works. Her sustained efforts helped gained Atget international recognition.

The books,
Atget, photographe de Paris (1930)
The sale of the archive to the MOMA  (1968)
The World of Atget (1964)
Vision of Paris (1963)

Berenice Abbott would have welcome her beloved city of New York with the recent passage of same sex marriage.

No comments:

Post a Comment