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Influential New York City Photographer’s Print Up for Auction

Berenice Abbott's work captured shift from 'old New York' to bustling Metropolis.

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During a time of great change in New York City history, photographer Berenice Abbott was there to capture the moments on camera.

And now almost 80 original prints of hers will hit the block during Heritage Auctions’ Photographs Signature Auction May 18-19 in New York City.

After returning to New York City in 1929, the former darkroom assistant turned her lens on a New York City undergoing both rapid change and the hardships of the Great Depression.

Berenice Abbott Heritage Auction
Newsstand, Southwest Corner of 32nd Street and Third Avenue, November 19, 1935 (Heritage Auctions)

Iconic photographs of New York City landmarks such as the New York Stock Exchange (est. $3,000-5,000), the construction of Rockefeller Center (est. $1,500-2,500) and Broadway to the Battery ($1,000-2,000) will be among the auction highlights.

“Berenice Abbott spent years chronicling the evolution of New York City. She captured the architecture, the people and the spirit of one of the busiest, most dynamic and influential cities in the world,” Heritage Auctions Director of Photography Nigel Russell said in a statement.

Many of the photographs at the Heritage auction were the result of a decade of documenting New York City, the basis of a book entitled Changing New York.

Berenice Abbott Heritage Auction
New York at Night, 1932.(Heritage Auctions)
Berenice Abbott Heritage Auction
Pennsylvania Station Interior, July 14, 1936. (Heritage Auctions)
Berenice Abbott Heritage Auction
Jacob Heyman Butcher Shop, 345 Sixth Ave., June 13, 1938. (Heritage Auctions)
Berenice Abbott Heritage Auction
New York Stock Exchange II, 1934 (Heritage Auctions)
Berenice Abbott Heritage Auction
Tempo of the City II, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, May 13, 1938 (Heritage Auctions)
Berenice Abbott Heritage Auction
Broadway to the Battery, May 4, 1938 (Heritage Auctions)
Berenice Abbott Heritage Auction
Lyric Theatre, 100 Third Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets, April 24, 1936 (Heritage Auctions)
Berenice Abbott Heritage Auction
Lower West Street, Circa 1948 (Heritage Auctions)
Berenice Abbott Heritage Auction
Flatiron Building, Madison Square, May 18, 1938 (Heritage Auctions)
Berenice Abbott Heritage Auction
Depeyster Statue, Bowling Green, July 23, 1936 (Heritage Auctions)
Berenice Abbott Heritage Auction
Newsstand, Southwest Corner of 32nd Street and Third Avenue, November 19, 1935. (Heritage Auctions)