From the New York Public Library is the cohesive archive of Berenice Abbott's opus "Changing New York", the project that documented NYC under the Federal Art Project.
Born and raised in Ohio, Abbott lived an erratic life, move to a life of art and connected with influential modernists. To support herself she modeled for artists such as Nikolas Muray and Man Ray, and even participated with Dadaist Marcel Duchamp's projects. She worked as well as a darkroom assistant to Man Ray and tried photography with his suggestion. In 1928, she rescued and promoted Eugene Atget's work of Parisian streetscapes.
Abbott wanted to recreate Atget's legacy and achievement, but this time with New York City. From 1929 to 1938 she photographed the urban landscape, material, architecture, infrastructure that defined the city and built its environment; also documenting old buildings being torn down and new towers being constructed. Her series was a starter for defining New Yorker photography.
Afterwards, Abbott turned from another genre, this time with the MIT for photographic illustrations of physics experiments.
Images are from the public domain, from the NYPL.