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Berenice Abbott: Portraits of Women, 1925–1930

Sunday, July 31, 2022 at 11:00am to 4:00pm

Johnson Museum of Art, In the Moak Gallery, Floor 2L
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, 114 Central Ave, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

The famed American documentarian Berenice Abbott (1898–1991) began her career in photography as Man Ray’s darkroom assistant in Paris in 1923. Within three years she had opened a rival studio, and unlike her former employer, she would not make her women sitters into the “pretty objects” she saw in his photographs. Women whose views about representation aligned with her own sought Abbott out. Many lived openly as queer, to use today’s term. Abbott preferred not to speak about her own sexuality, but she did not hide the primary romantic relationship of her life, her thirty-year partnership with the art critic Elizabeth McCausland. This exhibition brings together a selection of Abbott’s portraits of women from the Johnson’s collection for the first time. It is being presented in conjunction with Radical Desire: Making On Our Backs Magazine, which is on view this semester in Kroch Library’s Hirshland Gallery.

This exhibition was curated by Kate Addleman-Frankel, the Gary and Ellen Davis Curator of Photography at the Johnson, with assistance from Cecilia Lu ’22.

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Exhibit, Exhibition


Johnson Museum of Art

University Themes

Campus Life, Public Engagement


fgsscal, lgbtstudiescal


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