Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pingpank Barbershop, 413 Bleecker Street, Manhattan

Artist:
Berenice Abbott (American, Springfield, Ohio 1898–1991 Monson, Maine)
Date:
May 18, 1938
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 24.5 × 19.7 cm (9 5/8 × 7 3/4 in.) Sheet: 25.2 × 20.1 cm (9 15/16 × 7 15/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Twentieth-Century Photography Fund, 2013
Accession Number:
2013.448
Rights and Reproduction:
© Berenice Abbott / Commerce Graphics Ltd. Inc.
Not on view
In this close-up view of a simple shopkeeper’s window in New York City, Abbott composed an image that recalls in its composition and subject matter the work of her aesthetic hero, the French documentarian Eugène Atget. The slightly oblique composition delicately balances words and images, inside and outside, past and present. August Pingpank was eighty-seven when Abbott photographed his storefront at 413 Bleecker Street. He was one of the oldest barbers in the city and lamented to the Federal Art Project workers assisting Abbott that he would soon have to retire due to the invention of the safety razor: “It’s different now with the men shaving themselves every morning at home.” The photograph is one of more than three hundred Abbott made for her landmark Depression-era project “Changing New York.”
Inscription: Inscribed in negative margin, TR: "300"; stamp in black ink on print, verso CL [sideways]: "FEDERAL ART PROJECT // "Changing New York" // PHOTOGRAPHS BY BERENICE ABBOTT" [entire text outlined in a rectangle]; stamp in black ink [details completed in pencil], CR [sideways]: "Title: Pingpank Barber Shop // Place: 413 Bleeker [sic] Street, Manhattan // Date: May 18, 1938 // Neg. # 300 // Code: III H" [entire text outlined in a rectangle]; inscribed in pencil, BC: "BAB-00025-SP"
[...]; [Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York]; [Alan Koppel Gallery, Chicago, IL]; [Daniel Wolf, Inc., New York]; [Gary Edwards Gallery, Washington, DC]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 63," November 19, 2013–March 2, 2014.

Finley, Cheryl. Berenice Abbott. East Rutherford, N.J.: Commerce Graphics, 1988.

Yochelson, Bonnie. Berenice Abbott: Changing New York. New York: Museum of the City of New York, 1997. no. 19, p. 366.

O'Neal, Hank. Berenice Abbott: New York. Vol. 2. 1st ed. Göttingen: Steidl, 2008. p. 277.



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