Berenice Abbott, Practitioner Of “Straight Photography”

Berenice Abbott by Kirby Salvador
Illustration of Berenice Abbott by Kirby Salvador

Berenice Abbott (1898–1991)

Berenice Abbott was a photographer and poet widely known for her project, “Changing New York.” A practitioner of “straight photography,” she never altered her subjects or scene, and in doing so captured a little more than 300 photographs of the city as it evolved from 1929 to 1938. Her goal for the project was to show the diversity of the city, the daily lives of its residents and the locations in which lived, worked and played. A teacher at The New School for Social Research, Abbott spent her later years advancing the world of scientific photography, including a series of well-known photographs for a high school physics course.

“Photography doesn’t teach you to express your emotions, it teaches you to see.” —Berenice Abbott

Born and raised in Chicago, Kirby Salvador is a New York-based illustrator specializing in fictional cities and the human figure. kirbysalvador.com

This feature originally appeared in the Minimalism issue.