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Berenice Abbott : Photographs 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0818014130
ISBN-10: 081801413X
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Horizon Press; 1st edition (November 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081801413X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0818014130
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,905,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
First published in 1970, and long out of print, Tenth Avenue Editions restored this important work to print in a fine soft cover edition for the Smithsonian Institution Press in 1990. Like the original, it is now out of print. Abbott's work is presented in three sections: "Faces of the Twenties"; a large section of her "New York" photos; concluding with a smaller portfolio of her "Science" studies.

The portraits of the twenties include photographs of many of the more memorable cultural figures and personalities of the time. The portraits, four in all, of James Joyce are classics. Peggy Guggenheim holding one of her dogs, Djuna Barnes in profile, Jean Cocteau in bed and many others recall the outsized personalities that ruled scene in Europe and New York in the years between the wars.

The sixty-nine phonographs of New York include many of her most memorable cityscapes. The photograph of Exchange Place (on p.79) also appears on the cover(which is not illustrated here). Abbott's storefront photographs are among the most engaging today: The Blossom Restaurant in the Bowery (Lamb-Oxtail Stew, Coffee 15 cents)(pp. 118-119); Shoeshine Parlor (p. 123); Butcher Shop (p.124) (Leg of Lamb 22 cents), and the two-page picture of a Hardware Store (pp. 130-131) offer poignant views of a mercantile world long since displaced by supermarkets and big box department stores.

The twenty photographs in the "Science" section are important for what they reveal about Abbott's interest in science and about the special effects she used to create the work. See, e.g. the photographs of the "Spinning wrench suspended on a long string" on pages 152-153 and her explanation as to the way she set up the photograph.
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