Blossom Restaurant, The Bowery

by Berenice Abbott

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Artist Statement

Berenice Abbott began working on her series, Changing New York, in 1935 as a way to document gentrification in the city. While the project shows many architectural scenes and urban landscapes, there are also a number of images of storefronts: an easy way to show the way times had changed. In this way, small everyday moments were elevated into important slices of the city's history. A man leaving a barbershop after a haircut became a symbol of a time when those services cost less than fifty cents. It's fascinating to look at these split-seconds of history and realize that together, all of them made up the diverse and rich history of the city we know and love today.

Why We Love It

"Blossom Restaurant, The Bowery, from Abbott’s Changing New York series, gives you not only a glimpse into the city long before any of us got here, but a look into how people lived. The handwritten menu on the windows boasts three large pork chops for 30 cents and two eggs with potatoes and coffee for ten. A man stands in the doorway wearing a suit and tie. Behind a column, another man leans on a barricade, his hand on his face, lost in thought. The physical city may no longer be recognizable, but the looks on its inhabitants’ faces remain relatable—an unmistakable part of our present." ... Read more from Laia Garcia on the blog!

Details

+ Museum quality: archival inks, 100% cotton rag paper unless noted
+ Signed + numbered certificate of authenticity included
+ Handcrafted custom-framing is available

Our quoted dimensions are for the size of paper containing the images, not the printed image itself. We do not alter the aspect ratio, nor do we crop or resize the artists’ originals. All of our prints have a minimum border of .5 inches to allow for framing.

Medium:

Innova Fibraprint Warm Cotton Gloss

Berenice Abbott

Berenice Abbott was an American photographer best known for her black and white photography of New York City architecture and urban design of the 1930s. Abbott was born in Springfield, Ohio. She attended the Ohio State University, but left in early 1918. Abbott went to Europe in 1921, spending two years studying sculpture in Paris and Berlin. In addition to her work in the visual arts, Abbott published poetry in the experimental literary journal transition. Abbott first became involved with photography in 1923, when Man Ray, looking for somebody who knew nothing about photography and thus would do as he... Read More
said, hired her as a darkroom assistant at his portrait studio in Montparnasse. In 1926, she had her first solo exhibition (in the gallery Au Sacre du Printemps) and started her own studio on the rue du Bac. In early 1929, Abbott visited New York and was struck by its photographic potential. She moved to the city and began work on her New York project, which she worked on independently until 1935, when she was hired by the Federal Art Project as a project supervisor for her Changing New York project. She continued to take the photographs of the city, but she had assistants to help her both in the field and in the office. This arrangement allowed Abbott to devote all her time to producing, printing and exhibiting her photographs. By the time she resigned from the FAP in 1939, she had produced 305 photographs that were then deposited at the Museum of the City of New York.
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