Life of Berenice Abbott

The life of this great photographer before she became a photographer.

"I didn't decide to be a photographer; I just happened to fall into it." - Berenice Abbott

 

Berenice Abbott was born on July 17, 1898 in Springfield, Ohio as Bernice Abbott; the youngest of four children. Her parent’s divorce when she was only one and a half separated her from her older siblings, and throughout her childhood she seldom saw her father. With ambitions of becoming a journalist and having the notion that she was on her own, Abbott entered Ohio State University in Columbus at the age of 19.

After one year of university, Abbott travelled to meet some friends in New York City and because of World War I, did not return to her university studies. Instead, Abbott took the next three years to sculpt, and set up a studio apartment. It was in New York that she met Man Ray, Djuna Barnes and many other people who would further her knowledge of avant-garde art and later influence her career. In 1921, Abbott went to France to study sculpture and feeling dissatisfied with her progress, she left for Berlin in 1923 only to meet equal disappointment. It was at this time that she changed the spelling and pronunciation of her name at suggestion of Djuna Barnes; from Bernice to Berenice. “I put in another letter,” she told an interviewer when asked about this small act of rebellion, “made it sound better.”

 

 

The first experience that
Abbott had with photography
was PORTRAIT photography.

                                     
 

                            Abbot's next photographic phase
                            was: ARCHITECTUAL photography. 

 

 

  

 

Abbott then went on to
explore SCIENTIFIC
principles photogenically.

 

                              
                               The last photographic 
                               excursion of Berenice 
                               Abbott was to
                                                                                     photograph MAINE.
                               

 

 Abbott dedicated a
 great deal of her time
 promoting the work
 of EUGENE ATGET.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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