City Arabesque


Berenice Abbott ( American, 1898 - 1991 )

1938, print 1983
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General Description

The following is the caption by Elizabeth McCausland accompanying the original 1939 edition of Berenice Abbott's Changing New York publication.

"Northeast from the roof of Sixty Wall Tower the financial district spreads out in an arabesque. In the extreme upper left corner is to be seen City Hall Park, while the "El" winds in and out of view along the right-hand edge. The 1562.5-foot Manhattan approach of Brooklyn Bridge may also be seen cutting sharply across the upper right-hand corner, and the beginnings of the Lower East Side appear beyond the bridge."

Excerpt from

Elizabeth McCausland, caption for “City Arabesque,” in New York in the Thirties [former titled: Changing New York], (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1973; New York: E.P. Dutton & Company, Inc.,1939), plate 21 (np).

Fun Facts

  • Berenice Abbott was scared of heights, so it was difficult for her to take photographs from tall buildings in her Changing New York series.

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