Documenting Science: Berenice Abbott
I recently acquired the book Documenting Science, published by Steidl, which features the photography of Berenice Abbott. I knew that Berenice Abbott took to photographing science after her previous major body of work Changing New York but had missed that this book became available earlier this year. It really is a fantastic book for a scientist like me, one who has an eye on ways in which we can document and communicate science. I had fully intended to write all about this body of Berenice Abbott’s work, especially after covering her near contemporary Fritz Goro previously. However, Wayne Ford, a masterful writer on photography, beat me to it. His review of this book is along the same lines and sentiments as I would have written. So, to avoid repetition, I encourage you to visit his blog instead, and then to get the book. For as he says at the end of his post, it is “a fitting conclusion to a remarkable career of one of the 20th centuries most remarkable photographers.” I very much concur with that!
Berenice Abbott got her start as an apprentice to Man Ray and later in her life championed the work of Eugene Atget.
Her studio was previously at 50 Commerce Street, New York, NY, from which Commerce Graphics, who represent the archive of Berenice Abbott, takes their name.
Currently there is an exhibit on at the MIT museum featuring her photographs made while at MIT in the late 1950′s to contribute images that would advance the teaching of physics (MIT museum press release).