Author(s): Berenice Abbott
This is one in a series of books to be published by Steidl that will explore Berenice Abbotts exceptional body of work. Abbott began her photographic career in 1925, taking portraits in Paris of some the most celebrated artists and writers of the day including Marie Laurencin, Jean Cocteau, Peggy Guggenheim and James Joyce. Within a year her work was exhibited and acclaimed. "Paris Portraits 1925-1930" features the clear, honest results of Abbotts earliest photographic project and illustrates the philosophy of all her subsequent work. For this landmark book, 115 portraits of 83 subjects have been scanned from the original glass negatives, the full negatives have been printed, and a die-cut overleaf presents each portrait incorporating Abbotts cropping instructions. Berenice Abbott, born in Springfield, Ohio in 1898, was a dominant figure in twentieth-century American photography. Abbott moved to Paris from New York in 1921, and in 1923, after many false starts, was hired by her friend Man Ray. He was looking for an assistant who knew nothing about photography whom he could teach. Abbott learned quickly and within a year was taking her own photographs. Her first solo exhibition in 1926 was a success, and for the next 65 years Abbott mastered a wide range of subjects. Highlights of Abbotts career include the monumental project Changing New York (1935-1938), photographing rural America including US Route 1 from Maine to Florida, photographically interpreting scientific and natural phenomena, establishing the reputation of Eugene Atget, and founding the first university photography program in the United States. Steidl published the two-volume retrospective "Berenice Abbott (2008)", and "Documenting Science (2011)".