From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–This is a detailed biography of the photographer and innovator who felt that she made photographs and didn't just take them. Her 1930s pictures of New York City and of Paris socialites are still well known, and hers were the first images used to illustrate theories of physics. Her life was enthralling, even if her story ended, as Abbott claimed, 20 years before her death at 93, when she purchased a home in Maine and lived these years in near solitude. Not only have Abbott's honest portraits and remarkable cityscapes been celebrated since the 1960s, but some of her inventions are still used by photographers. The reproductions are outstanding, featuring crisp lines and deep detail. Quotes from Abbott offer foundational support for imaging workshops, though it is unclear whether high school students will be captivated enough by the prosaic writing to grasp fully the impact that this artist had on modern imaging techniques.–Jodi Kearns, University of Akron, OH
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*Starred Review* Gr. 6-9. Born in Ohio in 1898, Abbott made her way to Greenwich Village in 1918, and then to Paris, where she found her calling in photography, which she practiced with uncommon drive and an uncompromising sense of purpose for 60 years, primarily in New York City. In the 1930s she received financial support from the Federal Art Project for an ambitious project called Changing New York, traveling through Manhattan, photographing its streets, buildings, shops, and houses with the straightforward realism that characterized all her work. Later projects included science photography and teaching. Sullivan brings together an enormous amount of information about Abbott and presents it in a clear, thoughtful manner. Through discussions of Abbot's life and work, Sullivan reveals her personal strengths and shortcomings as well as establishing the scope and significance of her accomplishments. Large, clear reproductions of Abbott's photos appear throughout the book, and readers looking for more examples are referred to books as well as an online resource. Back matter includes source notes for the many quotes used and an extensive list of books and interviews. A fine portrait of a significant photographer that will partner well with Restless Spirit
(1998), Elizabeth Partridge's biography of Dorothea Lange. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved