CONTRASTS

When the American photographer Berenice Abbott returned to New York in 1929 after nearly a decade in France, she found a city transformed by modern life. After the Works Progress Administration was established a few years later, she was hired to document the city, producing a large number of often dramatically composed images reflecting its changing features. In this image, Abbott photographed the Trinity and U.S. Realty Buildings (1904?07) on Broadway and Thames Street in the southern part of Manhattan. Older buildings and warehouses sit in the shadow of twentieth-century office towers. Abbott’s steep perspective emphasizes the contrasts in scale and the break between old and new.

Collection: Brooklyn Museum

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