Columbia Hight 222, Brooklyn, NY, May 22, 1936


Silver print

25 x 20.2 cm (9 13/16 x 7 15/16 in.)

222 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY, May 22, 1936 objectively shows an elegant three-story Brooklyn townhouse in the broader context of the street, carefully including a car and a lamp post in its frame. Strengthened by black and white, the camera’s neutrality seems to remove the subject from any activity, making the only figure in the background almost invisible.

The apparently banal shot takes on its full importance once placed within the context of the sweeping photographic project with which it is associated. From 1935 to 1939, Abbott recorded the tremendous changes taking place in the American metropolis in a huge body of work called "Changing New York". Without a specific program, she developed a unique aesthetic combining archival images, street photography and art.

222 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY, May 22, 1936 was exhibited for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the 2019 "Luogo e Segni" (“Place and Signs”) show at the Punta della Dogana in Venice.

Berenice Abbott's other artwork