Midtown Manhattan, 1932


Silver print

24 x 19 cm (9 7/16 x 7 1/2 in.)

The sleek lines of Manhattan's stepped skyscrapers stretch into a cityscape that, seen from an aerial perspective, offers almost no opening to the distant horizon.

This 1932 shot was the first step in the huge photography project "Changing New York" that Berenice Abbott began in 1935 with funding from the Federal Art Project. Her aim was to draw the most exhaustive photographic portrait possible of the metropolis, which was undergoing a metamorphosis at the time. Leaving out no perspective, she captured her vertiginous subjects in shallow low-angle shots or, as here, by looking down at them.

Midtown Manhattan, 1932 was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the exhibition "Luogo e Segni" ("Place and Signs") at the Punta della Dogana in Venice in 2019.
Berenice Abbott's other artwork