National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Vanderbilt Avenue from East 46th Street Berenice Abbott (artist)
American, 1898 - 1991
Vanderbilt Avenue from East 46th Street, October 9, 1935
gelatin silver print mounted on paperboard
overall: 23.7 x 16.5 cm (9 5/16 x 6 1/2 in.)
Gift of Marvin Breckinridge Patterson and Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation through Robert and Joyce Menschel
1998.65.1
Not on View
From the Tour: Selected Photographs from the Collection
Object 14 of 15

When Berenice Abbott returned from Paris in 1929 after living there for eight years, she embarked on an ambitious project to document New York City. Although initially she was unable to find outside financial support for the project, her efforts were rewarded in 1935 when the New Deal's Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration agreed to sponsor her work, and in 1939, her book Changing New York, a milestone in the history of photography, was published.

Vanderbilt Avenue was taken in the first month of the Changing New York project. Although the country was in the depths of the Great Depression at the time, Vanderbilt Avenue, with its buildings perfectly aligned and light glistening on both windows and cars, reflects an optimistic, benevolent, and positive view of America's urban environment.

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