Berenice Abbott (Berenice Abbott)

Berenice Abbott

Photographer. She is best known for her black-and-white photography of New York City, New York architecture and urban design of the 1930s. She attended the Ohio State University, but dropped out in early 1918. In late 1918 she moved with friends from Ohio to Greenwich Village in New York. She pursued journalism, but soon became interested in theater and sculpture. she moved to Europe in 1921 and spent two years studying sculpture in Paris and Berlin. She became involved with photography in 1923, after meeting the ¬†photographer, Man Ray, who hired her as a darkroom assistant at his portrait studio in Montparnasse. In 1932 she left Paris and moved back to the United States where she took a job working for the Federal Works Project Administration photographing the “depression era” neighborhoods of New York City. Her straight photography approach allowed her to make important contributions to scientific photography and in the mid 1940s she became the picture editor for Science Illustrated. She was also a photography inventor and in 1947 she started the “House of Photography” to help promote and sell some of those inventions. They included a distortion easel, which created unusual effects on images developed in a darkroom, and the telescopic lighting pole to which lights can be attached at any level. The telescopic lighting pole is still used today in photography studios. On advice from her doctor, she moved to Maine due to poor health, but continued to document the local landscapes through her photography until her death. (bio by: Preserving the Past)


  • July, 17, 1898
  • USA


  • December, 12, 1991
  • USA


  • New Blanchard Cemetery
  • Maine
  • USA

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