Berenice Abbott was born in 1898 in Springfield, Ohio. She moved to New York in 1918 and left the city for Europe in 1921. In 1923 she became involved in photography after securing a position as a darkroom assistant in Man Ray’s portrait studio in Montparnasse. A quick study, Man Ray soon allowed her to use his studio for her own work. After successfully exhibiting her work in Paris in the mid to latter 1920s, she returned to New York in the fall of 1929. An earlier visit that same year had left her captivated and "seized by a fantastic passion" to photograph the city during a time of immense change. She would stay for the next ten years and produce an exceptional, and now famous, body of work. Her photographs are included in many major museum collections throughout the world and are the subject of numerous monographs and scholarly works.