Pier 24 Photography from the Pilara Family Foundation Sold to Benefit Charitable Organizations

Pier 24 Photography from the Pilara Family Foundation Sold to Benefit Charitable Organizations

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 103. Stone & William Street, Manhattan.

Berenice Abbott

Stone & William Street, Manhattan

No reserve

Lot Closed

December 18, 08:55 PM GMT


3,000 - 5,000 USD

Lot Details


Berenice Abbott

1898 - 1991

gelatin silver print, signed in pencil and annotated by a Federal Art Project assistant and with the photographer's Federal Art Project 'Changing New York' and '50 Commerce St., New York City' stamps on the reverse, 1936

image: 9⅝ by 7⅝ in. (24.4 by 19.4 cm.)

The photographer

Private collection (acquired from the above, Harry Lunn, Washington, D.C., as agent)

Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, 2006

Christie's, London, 18 May 2005, Sale 7040, Lot 112

Berenice Abbott Photographer: A Modern Vision (The New York Public Library, 1989), p. 31

Bonnie Yochelson, Berenice Abbott: Changing New York (The Museum of The City of New York, 1997), Middle West Side, pl. 16

Berenice Abbott’s love for the soul and spirit of the city is evidenced through her photographs of New York City. In an interview for Popular Photography, Abbott was asked to describe her favorite photograph, to which she answered “Suppose we took a thousand negatives and made a gigantic montage; a myriad-faceted picture combining the elegances, the squalor, the curiosities, the monuments, the sad faces, the triumphant faces, the power, the irony, the strength, the decay, the past, the present, the future of a city–that would be my favorite picture” (Berenice Abbott: Changing New York, p. 9). Abbott’s extensive documentary project Changing New York in many ways fits her description. The 1930s were a unique period of rapid change and industrialization in Manhattan. Her photographs document the sometimes massive and other times subtle physical changes unfolding around her. Robert R. Macdonald, former director of the Museum of the City of New York, would go on to praise her work, saying, “the city’s contrasts of wealth and poverty, new and old, and all its stubbornly insistent incongruities are interpreted with uncompromising respect for fact” (Berenice Abbott: Changing New York, p. 8).