Portraits A - E

Berenice Abbott

 I met Berenice Abbott in 1982 and worked with for the next nineteen years, until her death in 1991. During those years we worked on many projects, some of which prepared me for producing the series of books dealing with her photographs that have been issued by Steidl since 2008. This particular photograph was taken in 1979 at my recording studio, Downtown Sound. We had been working on the book that was issued in 1982 as Berenice Abbott – American Photographer when she suddenly announced she had to get back to Maine, right then. It was early in the afternoon, which meant even if she broke every speed limit she’d get home after midnight. She put on her car coat and a stocking cap; I had my 5x7 Deardorff set up just in case, asked her to hold still for a couple of portraits and this is the hurried result. After five or six exposures she said that was enough, jumped in her Mazda and headed into December winter storms and made it home safely. She was 81.