Canyon: Broadway and Exchange Place by Berenice Abbott (c. 1935-39)

The photograph “Canyon: Broadway and Exchange Place” was captured by artist Berenice Abbott around the years 1935 to 1939. The black and white image exhibits a dramatic perspective of the towering buildings in New York City. It aims upward from a street-level viewpoint, showcasing the soaring architecture that forms a ‘canyon’ between the skyscrapers.

In the photograph, the buildings on either side frame the image, drawing the eye towards the central building that dominates the composition. This central skyscraper stands tall with its rows of windows and the setbacks characteristic of the era’s architecture, creating a sense of grandeur and verticality. The light and shadows play across the building facades, highlighting their textures and details, and contributing to the depth and three-dimensional quality of the image. The perspective emphasizes the imposing nature of the skyscrapers and the relatively small scale of the human presence within the urban environment. The photo captures the essence of the city’s architecture during the 1930s, reflecting the art deco style prevalent at the time.

Other Photographs from Berenice Abbott

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