Berenice Abbott

(AMERICAN 1898 - 1991)

Berenice Abbott left the American Midwest in 1918 to study in New York City, Paris, and Berlin. In Paris she became an assistant to Man Ray and Eugène Atget. In 1925 she set up her own studio and made portraits of Parisian artists, writers, collectors and expatriates. She retrieved and catalogued Atget's prints and negatives after his death. In the 1930s she photographed New York's neighborhoods for the WPA Federal Art Project, documenting its changing architecture; many of the photographs were published in Changing New York (1939).

Photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium. It has to walk alone; it has to be itself.
— Berenice Abbott