This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition Berenice Abbott’s Greenwich Village, on view at Marlborough New York, January 24th through March 11th, 2023, the third solo exhibition at Marlborough devoted to the artist, and the first since her passing in 1991.
The catalogue features fifty color plates, a new essay by Robert Slifkin, Director of Graduate Studies at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and an interview with artist, photographer, and former assistant to Abbott, Todd Watts.
Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) first arrived in Greenwich Village from her native Ohio at the age of nineteen in 1918 and quickly found herself among the literary and artistic demimonde. It was not until her extended sojourn to Paris from 1921 to 1929 when she delved into the medium of photography, training in the atelier of Man Ray, and subsequently opening her own portrait studio. In Paris Abbott encountered and photographed many of the modernist figures she had known during her initial stay in Greenwich Village, as well as prominent locals.
Upon her return to New York at the end of the decade, Abbott saw the city with new eyes. She once again set up a portrait studio for steady income, photographing businessmen and literary types alike, hoping that the profits would allow her to devote time to her real passion of documenting the ever-shifting social landscape.
Berenice Abbott’s Greenwich Village brings together a selection of photographs created during the period Abbott was working on her first two major photobooks: the Federal Art Project-sponsored Changing New York (Dutton, 1939), and Greenwich Village Today & Yesterday (Harper Brothers, 1949). Berenice Abbott’s Greenwich Village was organized and curated by Lukas Hall.