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Berenice Abbott: Science Photographs

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October 2nd, 1999 - January 8th, 2000

Berenice Abbott's scientific photography grew out of her search for a new subject following the conclusion of her Federal Art Project "Changing New York." The approximately 40 prints included in the show are all from the Library's collections and encompass images of equipment, phenomena, and principles. Many of these photographs toured the United States in the late 1950s under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution, providing many viewers with their first look at contemporary art photography. Abbott's photograph "Interference of Waves" depicts a spellbinding pattern of colliding and overlapping circular forms. Her close-up view of soap bubbles offers entrance to a strange world of natural geometric construction. Other photos show multiple exposures of items moving through space, an enlarged view of penicillin mold, and beams of light passing through a prism.