Berenice Abbott, ‘Untitled (from Paris Portraits)’, circa 1925-30, Heritage Auctions
Berenice Abbott, ‘Untitled (from Paris Portraits)’, circa 1925-30, Heritage Auctions

Condition Report: Dry mounted to board measuring 21-1/4 x 17-1/2 inches; a few spots of possible retouching, most notably to the upper right, lower left, and upper center near the figure's head; one approximate 1 inch abrasion to the upper left quadrant, most noticeable in raking light; a few light scratches to the upper right quadrant and lower center. Framed Dimensions 22 X 18.25 Inches.

Signature: Signed in pencil on mount recto

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