<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-PTT6ZS" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden"></iframe> Whitney Museum of American Art: Berenice Abbott: Untitled (Foyer of the Whitney Museum of American Art on 8th Street, NYC)
Please wait

Berenice Abbott

Untitled (Foyer of the Whitney Museum of American Art on 8th Street, NYC)

1938

Artist

Berenice Abbott (1898-1991)

Title

Untitled (Foyer of the Whitney Museum of American Art on 8th Street, NYC)

Date

1938

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

Sheet: 9 7/8 × 8 in. (25.1 × 20.3 cm) Image: 9 5/8 × 7 5/8 in. (24.5 × 19.4 cm)

Edition information

Vintage

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo and the Dorothea L. Leonhardt Fund at the Communities Foundation of Texas

Accession number

99.4

Object Label

Throughout the 1930s, Berenice Abbott trained her camera on New York City: its brownstones, skyscrapers, transportation hubs, neighborhoods, and people. Although her work was neither sociological nor propagandistic, Abbott strove to capture the rapid transformations of the city as it entered a new phase of modernization. This meant documenting spaces under threat of destruction while also capturing sites of urban renewal. One example of the latter was the Whitney Museum of American Art, which opened its doors to the public in a group of renovated brownstones on West 8th Street in Lower Manhattan on November 18, 1931. In this depiction of the museum’s foyer—an unusual image for Abbott, since she rarely shot interiors—the entry space is carefully framed so as to highlight its elegance. The graceful curves of the staircase and chandelier in concert with the figurative sculptures lend the environment a near-classical air. The sculpture in the foreground, at the base of the stairs, is by the Museum’s founder, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who was an accomplished artist in her own right.

Related exhibitions online

Prev Next