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Berenice Abbott Archive

The largest and most comprehensive collection anywhere of the work of Berenice Abbott (American, 1898−1991), the Berenice Abbott Archive comprises more than 6,000 photographs and 7,000 negatives from the mid-1920s through the 1980s, as well as book maquettes, correspondence, personal journals, business records, and ephemera. Highlights include Abbott’s early studio portraiture from Paris and New York (1926 and onwards); photographs from her seminal project Changing New York (1935−39); American landscapes, including her abandoned book project focusing on U.S. coastal highway Route 1; her final published series, A Portrait of Maine (1968); and a large selection of her innovative scientific photography. In addition to Abbott’s own work, the archive includes Eugène Atget photographs printed by Abbott as well as original Atget glass-plate negatives, reminders of her tireless work to rescue and promote the French photographer’s oeuvre. 

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A close-up photograph of Berenice Abbott's face
Fig. 1

  Walker Evans (American, b. 1903 d. 1975), Berenice Abbott, ca. 1930s, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

A photograph of suits in a store window with the reflection of a city building
Fig. 2

  Eugène Atget (French, b. 1857 d. 1927), printed by Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Magasin, avenue des Gebelins, n.d., gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Two people pushing a stroller down the street.
Fig. 3

  Eugène Atget (French, b. 1857 d. 1927), printed by Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Joueur d'orgue, n.d., gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Photograph of Elizabeth McCausland sitting with her hands held together, staring off in the distance
Fig. 4

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), [Elizabeth McCausland], ca. 1935, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Photo of Elizabeth McCausland sitting with her hands held together, staring at the ground.
Fig. 5

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), [Elizabeth McCausland], ca. 1935, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Photo of smoke stacks at Red River Lumber Company in Westwood, California.
Fig. 6

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Red River Lumber Company, Westwood, California [smoke stacks], 1943, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Side profile of Eugene Atget taken by Berenice Abbott in 1944.
Fig. 7

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Eugene Atget, Profile, Paris, ca. 1944, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Newsstand at 32nd street and 3rd avenue in New York City taken in 1935.
Fig. 8

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Newsstand 32nd Street and 3rd Avenue, New York City, 1935, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Night view of New York City in 1932.
Fig. 9

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Night View, New York City, 1932, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

A man smoothing the wet cement on a sidewalk.
Fig. 10

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), [Hands Smoothing Out Cement], ca. 1960, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Photomontage of New York City from 1932.
Fig. 11

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), [photomontage, New York City], 1932, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Newsstand at 32nd street and 3rd avenue in New York City taken in 1935.
Fig. 12

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Newsstand 32nd Street and 3rd Avenue, New York City, 1935, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Fig. 13
View down Forty-Second street in New York from 1936.
Fig. 14

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), View Down Forty–Second Street, New York, ca. 1936, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

A photo of a man next to a giant fish added in post-production on a beach in Florida from 1954.
Fig. 15

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Beach Photos with Fish, Florida, 1954, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Milliken's General Store on Sunday Morning in Bridgewater, Maine in 1954.
Fig. 16

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Milliken's General Store on Sunday Morning, Bridgewater, Maine, 1954, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Portrait of Berenice Abbott taken by Man Ray
Fig. 17

  Man Ray (American, b. 1890 d. 1976), Berenice Abbott, ca. 1920s, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Photo of giant outstretched bird wing.
Fig. 18 Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Supersight Bird Wing, ca. 1944, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre (AG04.2012.2010:0058)
Portrait of an unknown woman taken in 1942.
Fig. 19 Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), [portrait of an unknown woman, New York City], 1942–04–04, four gelatin silver prints mounted to board, made with Supersight camera. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (AG04.2012.2010:0065)
Self-portrait of Berenice Abbott wearing a blazer.
Fig. 20

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Woman with Blazer [Berenice Abbott, self–portrait, Paris], 1925, gelatin silver contact print. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Self-portrait of Berenice Abbott wearing a blazer
Fig. 21

Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Woman with Blazer [Berenice Abbott, self–portrait, Paris], 1925, gelatin silver contact print. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

A photo of a man with an eye-patch dressed in an elegant white suit sitting in a chair
Fig. 22

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), James Joyce, 1926, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Photo of a two hands
Fig. 23

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Cocteau's Hands, 1927, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Photo of Lucia Joyce dancing with a box drawn around her figure with a pen in post-production
Fig. 24

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Lucia Joyce, Paris, 1927–1928, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Photo of Buddy Gilmore posing with a drumkit.
Fig. 25

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Buddy Gilmore, ca. 1926, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

A man in a suit posing on a stool
Fig. 26

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Jean Guerin, 1927, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Long-exposure of a swinging wrench.
Fig. 27

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Swinging Wrench, Cambridge, Ma., 1958–1962, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

A tree falling at Red River Lumber Company in Westwood, California
Fig. 28

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Red River Lumber Company, Westwood, California [tree felling], 1943, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

A close-up photograph of Berenice Abbott's face
Fig. 1

  Walker Evans (American, b. 1903 d. 1975), Berenice Abbott, ca. 1930s, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

A photograph of suits in a store window with the reflection of a city building
Fig. 2

  Eugène Atget (French, b. 1857 d. 1927), printed by Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Magasin, avenue des Gebelins, n.d., gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Two people pushing a stroller down the street.
Fig. 3

  Eugène Atget (French, b. 1857 d. 1927), printed by Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Joueur d'orgue, n.d., gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Photograph of Elizabeth McCausland sitting with her hands held together, staring off in the distance
Fig. 4

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), [Elizabeth McCausland], ca. 1935, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Photo of Elizabeth McCausland sitting with her hands held together, staring at the ground.
Fig. 5

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), [Elizabeth McCausland], ca. 1935, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Photo of smoke stacks at Red River Lumber Company in Westwood, California.
Fig. 6

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Red River Lumber Company, Westwood, California [smoke stacks], 1943, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Side profile of Eugene Atget taken by Berenice Abbott in 1944.
Fig. 7

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Eugene Atget, Profile, Paris, ca. 1944, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Newsstand at 32nd street and 3rd avenue in New York City taken in 1935.
Fig. 8

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Newsstand 32nd Street and 3rd Avenue, New York City, 1935, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Night view of New York City in 1932.
Fig. 9

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Night View, New York City, 1932, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

A man smoothing the wet cement on a sidewalk.
Fig. 10

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), [Hands Smoothing Out Cement], ca. 1960, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Photomontage of New York City from 1932.
Fig. 11

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), [photomontage, New York City], 1932, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Newsstand at 32nd street and 3rd avenue in New York City taken in 1935.
Fig. 12

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Newsstand 32nd Street and 3rd Avenue, New York City, 1935, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Fig. 13
View down Forty-Second street in New York from 1936.
Fig. 14

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), View Down Forty–Second Street, New York, ca. 1936, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

A photo of a man next to a giant fish added in post-production on a beach in Florida from 1954.
Fig. 15

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Beach Photos with Fish, Florida, 1954, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Milliken's General Store on Sunday Morning in Bridgewater, Maine in 1954.
Fig. 16

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Milliken's General Store on Sunday Morning, Bridgewater, Maine, 1954, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Portrait of Berenice Abbott taken by Man Ray
Fig. 17

  Man Ray (American, b. 1890 d. 1976), Berenice Abbott, ca. 1920s, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Photo of giant outstretched bird wing.
Fig. 18 Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Supersight Bird Wing, ca. 1944, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre (AG04.2012.2010:0058)
Portrait of an unknown woman taken in 1942.
Fig. 19 Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), [portrait of an unknown woman, New York City], 1942–04–04, four gelatin silver prints mounted to board, made with Supersight camera. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (AG04.2012.2010:0065)
Self-portrait of Berenice Abbott wearing a blazer.
Fig. 20

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Woman with Blazer [Berenice Abbott, self–portrait, Paris], 1925, gelatin silver contact print. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Self-portrait of Berenice Abbott wearing a blazer
Fig. 21

Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Woman with Blazer [Berenice Abbott, self–portrait, Paris], 1925, gelatin silver contact print. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

A photo of a man with an eye-patch dressed in an elegant white suit sitting in a chair
Fig. 22

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), James Joyce, 1926, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Photo of a two hands
Fig. 23

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Cocteau's Hands, 1927, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Photo of Lucia Joyce dancing with a box drawn around her figure with a pen in post-production
Fig. 24

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Lucia Joyce, Paris, 1927–1928, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Photo of Buddy Gilmore posing with a drumkit.
Fig. 25

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Buddy Gilmore, ca. 1926, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

A man in a suit posing on a stool
Fig. 26

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Jean Guerin, 1927, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

Long-exposure of a swinging wrench.
Fig. 27

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Swinging Wrench, Cambridge, Ma., 1958–1962, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Archive, Ryerson Image Centre

A tree falling at Red River Lumber Company in Westwood, California
Fig. 28

  Berenice Abbott (American, b. 1898 d. 1991), Red River Lumber Company, Westwood, California [tree felling], 1943, gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Collection, Ryerson Image Centre