Berenice ABBOTT, New York at night Enlarge 1 /1

Berenice ABBOTT

Springfield, Ohio, United States of America 1898 – Monson, Maine, United States of America 1991

New York at night [West Side looking north from upper 30's] 1934
Collection Title: Berenice Abbott's New York, portfolio I
Title Notes: New York at night, Empire State Building, 350 Fifth Avenue, West Side, 34th and 33rd Streets (general view north), Manhattan
Creation Notes: printed c. 1979
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph Publisher: PARASOL PRESS
Place Published: New York
Date Published: 1979

Dimensions: printed image 34.2 h x 27.1 w cm sheet 50.7 h x 40.6 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1979
Accession No: NGA 79.2945.2

After spending eight years in Paris, Berenice Abbott returned to New York City in 1929 and began to document the city as it underwent monumental change. Abbott photographed those parts of old New York being demolished to make way for the new, and at the same time marvelled at the incredible spectacle of the modern city. Probably her most famous image, this nocturnal view of the city was taken from the top of the Empire State Building, using a fifteen-minute exposure. It was taken on the shortest day of the year (20 December), at a time (between 4.30-5.00pm) when the sky was at its darkest and workers remained in their offices.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra