Bernice Abbot

Berenice Abbott's Changing New York: A Triumph of Public Art

June 13, 2009 to January 3, 2010
Crossroads Gallery

In 1929, after eight years in Europe, photographer Berenice Abbott (1898–1991) returned to New York City. She was inspired by its dramatic transformation. New construction was everywhere; hundreds of 19th-century buildings had been torn down to make way for dozens of skyscrapers. She was determined to capture this momentous change in photographs. In 1935, with the support of the Federal Art Project, Abbott was able to devote her full energies to creating what she called, “Changing New York.” By 1940, she had completed a collectionconsidered to be one of the monumental achievements of 20th-century photography. This exhibition features the New York State Museum’s 40 original prints from “Changing New York,” with additional images from the Museum of the City of New York.

Commentary has been provided by Bonnie Yochelson, an authority on Abbott’s epic project.