The Realisms of Berenice Abbott: Documentary Photography and Political Action (The Phillips Book Prize Series)

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9780520266759: The Realisms of Berenice Abbott: Documentary Photography and Political Action (The Phillips Book Prize Series)

The Realisms of Berenice Abbott provides the first in-depth consideration of the work of photographer Berenice Abbott. Though best known for her 1930s documentary images of New York City, this book examines a broad range of Abbott’s work including portraits from the 1920s, little known and uncompleted projects from the 1930s, and experimental science photography from the 1950s. It argues that Abbott consistently relied on realism as the theoretical armature for her work, even as her understanding of that term changed over time and in relation to specific historical circumstances. But as Weissman demonstrates, Abbott’s unflinching commitment to realist” aesthetics led her to develop a critical theory of documentary that recognizes the complexity of representation without excluding or obscuring a connection between art and engagement in the political public sphere. In telling Abbott’s story, The Realisms of Berenice Abbott reveals insights into the politics and social context of documentary production and presents a thoughtful analysis of why documentary remains a compelling artistic strategy today.

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About the Author:

Terri Weissman is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and is a contributing editor to American Modern: Documentary Photography by Abbott, Evans, and Bourke-White (UC Press).

Review:

“Complex and compelling. . . . A model for future scholarship on both historical and contemporary photography.” (Drew Sawyer History Of Photography 2012-09-12)

“A fine book. . . . Accounts for the look of Abbott’s photographs in a way no one has done before.” (Oxford Art Journal 2012-09-07)

“From a wealth of primary material, much of it long buried in archives and libraries, Weissman has created a fine documentary. Abbott’s . . . singular vision of the interaction of these are all presented with clear prose and scholarly consideration. Photography fans will find much here.” (Library Journal 2011-05-15)

“Weissman offers a scholarly study that contributes importantly to a revaluing of the central works of the venerable yet undervalued American photographer Berenice Abbott.” (Choice 2011-06-10)

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Realisms of Berenice Abbott provides the first in-depth consideration of the work of photographer Berenice Abbott. Though best known for her 1930s documentary images of New York City, this book examines a broad range of Abbott s work - including portraits from the 1920s, little known and uncompleted projects from the 1930s, and experimental science photography from the 1950s. It argues that Abbott consistently relied on realism as the theoretical armature for her work, even as her understanding of that term changed over time and in relation to specific historical circumstances. But as Weissman demonstrates, Abbott s unflinching commitment to realist aesthetics led her to develop a critical theory of documentary that recognizes the complexity of representation without excluding or obscuring a connection between art and engagement in the political public sphere. In telling Abbott s story, The Realisms of Berenice Abbott reveals insights into the politics and social context of documentary production and presents a thoughtful analysis of why documentary remains a compelling artistic strategy today. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780520266759

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Realisms of Berenice Abbott provides the first in-depth consideration of the work of photographer Berenice Abbott. Though best known for her 1930s documentary images of New York City, this book examines a broad range of Abbott s work - including portraits from the 1920s, little known and uncompleted projects from the 1930s, and experimental science photography from the 1950s. It argues that Abbott consistently relied on realism as the theoretical armature for her work, even as her understanding of that term changed over time and in relation to specific historical circumstances. But as Weissman demonstrates, Abbott s unflinching commitment to realist aesthetics led her to develop a critical theory of documentary that recognizes the complexity of representation without excluding or obscuring a connection between art and engagement in the political public sphere. In telling Abbott s story, The Realisms of Berenice Abbott reveals insights into the politics and social context of documentary production and presents a thoughtful analysis of why documentary remains a compelling artistic strategy today. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780520266759

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