Artwork Details

Berenice Abbott


Flatiron Building, New York
Gelatin silver print
13 x 10 inches
Not on view
Accession Number
Gift of John and Lynn Vinkemulder

About the Artwork

Berenice Abbott photographed the Fuller building, nicknamed the Flatiron,” multiple times as part of her Changing New York project. The project, initiated by the Federal Art Project and part of the Works Progress Administration, sought to create a broadly inclusive collection of photographs that suggested the vital interaction between three aspects of urban life: the diverse people of the city; the places they live, work and play; and their daily activities. By the time she resigned from the FAP in 1939, she had produced 305 photographs of New York City and its people. 

For Abbott, the 20th-century invention of photography was the perfect way to document the 20th century. I believe there is no more creative medium than photography to recreate the living world of our time,” she wrote. Photography gladly accepts the challenge because it is at home in its element: namely, realism — real life — the now.” For many New Yorkers the unusual Flatiron building was a symbol of modern life, technology, and architecture.