Having spent several years in France closely studying Eugène Atget’s documentation of a disappearing Paris, Abbott returned to New York in 1929 to find a city transformed. Fueled by a financial bubble that was soon to pop, newly constructed skyscrapers created dizzying views and canyon-like streets that dwarfed the scale of human activity. Abbott’s attentive urban observations were captured in her 1939 photobook Changing New York. Related photographs had been published years earlier in the French weekly Vu, testifying to the transatlantic transmission of such imagery.
Gallery label from 2020