Shaina, Brooklynne, Claire, and Dianna thought that when she took the photo, it wasn’t a busy day in New York at Seventh Avenue. We think that because there weren’t many cars on the street, and there weren’t as many people walking on the sidewalk as there usually are today. We also think that when Berenice Abbott took this photo, she was on a tall building away from the others, so that she could capture most of the buildings on Seventh Avenue at an angle. We think she took the photo at an angle because we can see the buildings on the right side fairly well, and we can’t see the sides of the buildings on the left side.
Brooklynne, Shaina, Dianna, and Claire thought that the building closest to the center is the Empire State Building. We think that it’s the Empire State Building because it has a point at the top, and it’s taller than all the other buildings. We liked how the photograph mostly focused on the Empire State Building itself and how the Empire State Building looked colossal compared to all the other skyscrapers. We think it looks massive contrasted next to all the other buildings because the buildings close to the Empire State Building look close to the ground unlike how the Empire State Building looks like it’s near the sky.
Claire, Shaina, Brooklynne, and Dianna noticed a Coca-Cola sign that is solid on top of a building. We think it’s sturdy because of the metal going into the building. We are wondering why it says the Mayflower on a sign atop the building. We also notice a billboard on the right side, but we don’t know what it says, so we are curious about what the billboard could say. We have also noticed the street isn’t busy at all. We only spot a couple of cars on the street, and we don’t see any people walking along the sidewalk. We are also wondering what Berenice Abbott’s inspiration for taking this photograph was. We think her inspiration for taking the photo was perhaps she wanted to catch many billboards that showed fads which were popular at the time, but we’re still not confident about our interpretation.
Dianna, Shaina, Brooklynne, and Claire think this photograph was taken in New York because we notice the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building in the background. We think it’s the Empire State Building in the background because of the point at the top, and it’s taller than all the other buildings. We think it was taken a while along because of the car alongside the closest building in the photo. It looks like a classic car from the 1900’s because it looks like an old fashioned car that we don’t have nowadays. We noticed there aren’t any cars in our vision that we can make out on the bridge. We don’t think there are any cars on the bridge because there are no shapes on the bridge that we can see from underneath the bridge.
Shaina, Brooklynne, Dianna, and Claire think the grey building closest to the screen, and mostly shown, is a church because it looks almost like it would be a church since it looks older than all the other buildings, and it has pointy spires like some churches have. We also think the grey building is a church because of the shape of the windows and it almost looks like there could be stained glass windows. We think the windows look like windows in a church because each window has a different shape from other buildings and it has fancy designs. We think Rockefeller Center is the building behind what we think is the church. We think it’s Rockefeller Center because it’s the building closest to the camera lens besides what we think is a church because Rockefeller Center is a more modern structure than the building which is more aged.
“Let us first say what photography is not. A photograph is not a painting, a poem, a symphony, a dance. It is not just a pretty picture, not an exercise in contortionist techniques and sheer print quality. It is or should be a significant document, a penetrating statement, which can be described in a very simple term - selectivity.”
Shaina’s Question: What inspired Berenice Abbott to take most of her photos at an angle? Claire’s Question: What inspired Berenice Abbott to take photographs mostly of New York? Dianna’s Question: What kind of camera did Berenice Abbott use? Brooklynne’s Question: Was Berenice Abbott friends with any other artists? Shaina’s Question: Did Berenice Abbott ever live in New York? If so, how long did she live in New York? Claire’s Question: Why did Berenice Abbott mostly take photos? Why didn’t she try painting? Dianna’s Question: What inspired Berenice Abbott to take photos of mostly tall buildings? Brooklynne’s Question: What inspired Berenice Abbott to write her quotes?
Berenice Abbott was born at Springfield, Ohio in 1898. After graduating from Ohio State University, she moved to New York in 1918 in an attempt to study writing, but decided to study the art of painting. Berenice then moved to Paris where she met Eugene Atget, who was also an artist. Berenice purchased one of Eugene Atget’s properties and furthermore, studied his art for 40 years. Berenice had then moved back to New York to take photographs of the skyline. Berenice was not in a relationship, and she was a lesbian. The type of camera Berenice used was a Rolleiflex Automat MX. Berenice’s parents divorced when she was young. Berenice was sent to live with her mother, while her brothers were sent to live with her father. Berenice Abbott never married because of the predicament she had been in when she was young, and she would need to end her career since back then, men were the ones who were sent to work. Berenice died at age 91 in December, 1991.