Gelatin silver print
Image: 19.8 x 24.5 cm (7 13/16 x 9 5/8 in.); Paper: 20.2 x 25.5 cm (7 15/16 x 10 1/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 2007.21
© Berenice Abbott/Getty Images
Raised in Springfield, Ohio, Abbott went to Paris to study art and took up photography when she became Man Ray’s studio assistant. She moved to New York in 1929. Shocked by the rapid changes in the urban landscape, she dedicated much of her life to documenting New York’s new buildings and its fast-disappearing historic ones. Abbott made this image while working for the Federal Art Project during the Great Depression. The upward, wide-angle view emphasizes the massiveness of the factory warehouse, which still occupies a full block in the Chelsea neighborhood. Opened in 1931, the building was notable for applying modernist architectural principles to industrial architecture.
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