Seventh Avenue Looking South from 35th Street, Manhattan
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Berenice Abbott was famously resistant to the ever human temptation towards prettification, revelling instead in contrasts in both nature and culture. She took this image on December 5, 1935 with an eye to illuminating the play between all of the urban elements, while capturing the ever-increasing dominance of the New York skyscraper. She wrote once: "The concern is not with the architectural rendering of detail, the buildings of 1935 overshadowing all else, but with a synthesis which shows the skyscraper in relation to the less colossal edifices which preceded it: city vistas, waterways, highways and means of transportation; areas where peculiarly urban aspects of human living can be observed; city squares where the trees die for lack of sun and air; narrow and dark canyons where visibility fails because there is no light; litter blowing about a waterfront slip; relics of the age of General Grant and Queen Victoria where these have survived; the onward march of the steam shovel, all these things and many more comprise New York City in 1935."
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