Bernice or Berenice Abbott is a photographer Michael Wasniowski commented on last June 17 , 2008 as a favorite of his when I was complaining about the lack of representation of African American and other artists in museums, books, etc. on an earlier post. I did not know her so I decided to find out about her, (just got around to it), and share some of what I found with you.
She was a lesbian photographer who championed "straight photography" ! That, in itself, is pretty interesting.
She was thoughtful and, as a photographer quite good. Here is a wonderful quote:
February 1940: the magazine Popular Photography asks Berenice Abbott to name her "favorite picture." Her response:
"Suppose we took a thousand negatives and made a gigantic montage: a myriad-faceted picture containing 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."
She kinda does that in the photo below...
The one above and the elegant and amazing photo below are both from the New York Public Library. This is not Photoshop or In Design. This is the hard work of finding the subject in tact, and capturing it at the right moment and then developing the film to the satisfaction and imagination of the artist who shot it.
Once you take a look at the links and learn about her you may wonder
why she isn't better known like Alfred Steiglitz, Roy DeCarava, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, James Van der Zee, and Gordon Parks to name a few well known photographers.