Berenice Abbott, ‘Shoe Shine Parlor, Pearl Street’, 1938, Heritage Auctions
Berenice Abbott, ‘Shoe Shine Parlor, Pearl Street’, 1938, Heritage Auctions
Berenice Abbott, ‘Shoe Shine Parlor, Pearl Street’, 1938, Heritage Auctions

Condition Report: Hinged by the upper corners in to a windowed mat measuring 14 x 17 inches; some handling creases, most notably half moon creases near the center right edge, in the lower left quadrant, and near the top center edge, most noticeable under raking light.

Signature: Signed in pencil on mat recto; signed, titled and dated in pencil with the artist's 'Abbott, Maine' stamp on verso

Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

About Berenice Abbott

Berenice Abbott is best known for her striking, black-and-white photographs of New York City buildings, which she photographed as though taking portraits. In the 1920s she served as a darkroom assistant to Man Ray in Paris (she had modeled for him earlier in New York), where she encountered such leading cultural voices of the day as James Joyce, Max Ernst, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. She found inspiration in the Parisian streetscapes of Eugène Atget, an influence that would carry into “Changing New York” (1935-38), her major body of work for the Works Progress Administration/Federal Art Project. She strove to create objective photographs that stood on their own merit, rather than referencing other art forms. “Photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium,” she said. “It has to walk alone; it has to be itself.”

American, 1898-1991, Springfield, Ohio