Ahead of Her Time

This photograph of James Joyce was made by Berenice Abbott, a relatively little known photographer from the early 20th century. If you’ve ever seen a 1930s-era black-and-white photograph of New York City’s Flatiron building, then you know Berenice Abbott.

She began her career as an apprentice to Man Ray in France in the 1920s, and developed her own portrait practice. Her subjects included the artists, writers and glitterati of the time: Djuna Barnes, Sylvia Beach, George Antheil, Max Ernst, Edward Hopper, and so many more.

While in Paris she discovered Eugene Atget, the photographer who created a vast body of glass plate negatives documenting turn-of-the-century Paris. After Atget’s death, Abbott bought most of his work and brought it to New York for publication and exhibition.

Once back in New York, she decided to do for her own country’s city what Atget did for Paris and created a magnificent body of work, Changing New York.

Tricia Fagan, gallery director and exhibit curator of the Art Gallery at Mercer Counter Community College, will give a talk on Early Women Pioneers in Photograph  Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m., for the Princeton Photography Club.

Ms. Fagan writes, “The talk will look mostly at regional women photographers of note at the turn of the last century who were innovators in the whole art photography movement. The talk will focus on Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, Imogene Cunningham and Gertrude Kasebier.”

The talk will be held at the D & R Greenway Land Trust, Johnson Education Center, One Preservation Place, Princeton.

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One Response to Ahead of Her Time

  1. Tricia Fagan is one powerful woman in her own right, turning that power to the service of others, and to the muse of art…

    I plan to be there at D&R Greenway for Tricia’s talk. Always enjoy those electric members of Princeton Photography Club, no matter the speaker.

    Carl and Sheila Geisler, who head PPC, do so much good for photography as an art and as a business in our region!

    Thanks, Ilene, for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

    Blessings Carolyn

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