Evening Window Shoppers on Eighth Avenue, vers 1930

c. 1930

Silver print

18.3 x 24 cm (7 3/16 x 9 7/16 in.)

A Manhattan shopping street after dark is the subject of Evening Window Shoppers on Eighth Avenue, Circa 1930. The composition focuses on two passers-by gazing at a florist’s window in artificial chiaroscuro.

Abbott took this photo a year after returning to New York. It foreshadowed the massive project she worked on uninterruptedly from 1935 to 1939 under the aegis of the Federal Art Project. Five years before beginning "Changing New York", she seems to have already found her motifs, for example shop windows and street scenes, and photographic aesthetic. As artistic as they are documentary, her first images aimed to capture New York’s vibrancy in a sweeping social portrait.

Evening Window Shoppers on Eighth Avenue, Circa 1930 was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the "Luogo e Segni" ("Place and Signs") exhibition at the Punta della Dogana in Venice in 2019.
Berenice Abbott's other artwork