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View of Exchange Place from Broadway, New York

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.


c. 1934


Berenice Abbott
American, 1898–1991

About this artwork

Like many American artists of her generation, Berenice Abbott gravitated to Paris in the 1920s. There she met Eugène Atget, whose decades-long photographic archive of Paris influenced her to document the changing face of New York City as skyscrapers were replacing nineteenth-century buildings. In the midst of the Depression, she produced over 300 images; she distributed many to schools and libraries in New York, mounted several exhibitions, and published the project in 1939 under the title Changing New York. Here Abbott highlights the “new” New York, emphasizing the city’s modernity with extreme cropping of the skyscrapers. Yet by the time she made the picture in 1933, the buildings in the foreground were already relics: the canyon effect produced by their sheer verticality had inspired a zoning resolution in 1916, which stipulated that buildings above a certain height must have stepped facades as they rise to allow sunlight to reach the street.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Berenice Abbott


View of Exchange Place from Broadway, New York


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1929–1939


Gelatin silver print


Unmarked recto; verso unchecked


Image/paper: 42.5 × 10.6 cm (16 3/4 × 4 3/16 in.); Mount: 55.5 × 45.6 cm (21 7/8 × 18 in.)

Credit Line

Peabody Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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