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Berenice Abbott Photographs the Changing Face of New York

The Federal Art Project was a Depression-era program that launched in 1935 to fund projects by visual artists in the US. That same year, photographer Berenice Abbott received funding for Changing New York, a photo project to document New York City.

Abbott made over 300 photographs for the project between 1935 and 1939, and her work was published in a book that was distributed to public institutions in New York.

Abbott’s goal with her NYC photos was to capture the diversity of people in NYC, the places they’re found, and their daily lives. Many of her images are lasting documentations of old buildings as they stood before being torn down and replaced with new ones.

You can view all of Abbott’s photos from this project in the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections website.


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