"A DISTINCTIVE INTERPRETATION AS WELL AS A PRICELESS DOCUMENT": BERENICE ABBOT'S CHANGING NEW YORK
ABBOTT, Berenice. Changing New York. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1939. Quarto, original blue cloth, original photographic dust jacket. $4200.
First edition of Abbott’s landmark photo-essay on New York City, from waterfronts to storefronts, with 97 halftone plates.
After spending the better part of the twenties in Paris photographing such literary celebrities as James Joyce, Jean Cocteau, and Andre Gide, Abbott returned to New York in the 1930s with the intention "to do in Manhattan what Atget did in Paris." Abbott captured the city "with a straightforward style that nodded toward 19th-century classicism while signaling a new sort of stripped-down modernism" (Roth, 100). "A distinctive interpretation of New York as well as a priceless document thereof" (Icons of Photography, 104). Text by Elizabeth McCausland. Open Book, 130-31.
Plates fine. Minor foxing to preliminaries, slight abrasions to pages xiv-xv, 46-47 without affecting plates; light edge-wear to extremities of original cloth. Scarce dust jacket with a bit of chipping and two closed tears, slightly affecting "C" of title and "N" in Dutton on spine end. An extremely good copy, scarce.