Happy International Women’s Day!
Beaverbrook Art GalleryMarch 8, 20170 Comments
We’re celebrating at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery by showcasing the work of renowned female photographer Berenice Abbott (American, 1898-1991) in our Orientation Gallery this month. Berenice Abbott is recognized for the contributions that she made to 20th century photography and for cementing a place for female artists in the landscape of photography. Her work is included in major public collections throughout the world including the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Berenice Abbott was born in Springfield, Ohio and attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris and the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin. In 1923, while working as a darkroom assistant for notable photographer Man Ray (American, 1890-1976), she became smitten with the art of photography.
She began her photo career in Paris with many memorable images of the city; but perhaps her most significant images are her remarkable ‘city portraits’ of the landmark buildings in New York City of the late-1920s and 1930s. During this period, Abbott was witness to a significant growth and development of this metropolis. In the late 1930s, Abbott led the artistic project Changing New York, which documented the city’s growth. It was part of the government-created Federal Art Project employing and supporting artists all over the country during the depression era.
As an artist, Berenice Abbott was keenly devoted to chronicling the texture of urban culture and growth through the lens. This suite of works, donated to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in 2016, includes some of the artist’s most iconic works such as Flatiron building, 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, 1936 and Fifth Avenue, Nos. 4,6,8, Manhattan, 1936.