Talk:Berenice Abbott

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Lesbianism etc etc[edit]

This article is keen to suggest that Abbott was lesbian, or bisexual. She may have been; I really don't know (or care). But if this is worth saying, it had better be backed up with evidence. This article does cite an article in some gay-lesbian-etc website, but (i) what that article says is less specific, and (ii) that article cites no sources for what it says, raising the suspicion that its content might be invented and anyway rendering it unsuitable as an ostensible source.

I don't say what's written here is unverifiable. But if it's verifiable (and noteworthy), let's have verification.

(My own opinion is that people's romantic lives are great importance to themselves but generally of little importance in something purporting to be an encyclopedia.) -- Hoary 07:14, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

The site is an online encyclopedia with an editorial board led by two professors at U. Mich Dearboarn, and the Abbott entry includes a bibliography, though it doesn't footnote individual claims. In any case, I've added some additional citations to bolster what it says.
I removed the reference to an affair with Edna St. Vincent Millay after failing to find it in either of two recent biographies of Millay, and also the reference to Djuna Barnes since Barnes's biographer Phillip Herring doesn't seem to think they were ever lovers.
The section is a bit of a mess with competing claims about what Abbott did or didn't say and why, but it's hard to see how to sort it out with the patchwork of sourced and unsourced claims. I believe Julia van Haaften has a biography of Abbott coming out sometime soon that should allow this to be written more definitively. --Celithemis 10:08, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your work on this. Keep going! Time and energy permitting, I'll do a bit more work on the article some time soon -- though I'm unlikely to say anything about Abbott's personal (non-photographic) relationships. -- Hoary 11:04, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Abbott is primarily notable as a photographer, as the rescuer of the works of Atget, as somebody who argued for certain ideals in photography, and to a lesser extent as a didactic writer on photography, as a poet, etc. I don't think she's notable as somebody who did (or didn't) have various love affairs. Surprised and dismayed by the percentage of space devoted to the latter, I separated it and dumped it in the second half of the article. I'm now not so sure that this was a good idea: for one thing, it forces a certain amount of repetition. Better, I now think, to have a more or less chronologically arranged article about her photographic and other achievements that's supplemented, where and to an extent appropriate, by personal material. Comments? -- Hoary 00:31, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, I think the McCausland relationship and any verified serious relationships with notable people are certainly notable, but maybe we don't need to get into that, since I completely agree that the Personal Life section needs trimming. I'm going to go ahead and cut out the remaining unsourced claims and see what is left.
In theory, I like the idea of photography going first; in practice, a more chronological arrangement seems more consistent with other biographies on Wikipedia (as well as, as you say, requiring less repetition). --Celithemis 01:30, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I've reshuffled accordingly; I hope I haven't screwed anything up in the process. -- Hoary 02:40, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Hippolyte Havel[edit]

Did he literally adopt her? Yochelson makes it sound as if he didn't, and she was around twenty, so a literal adoption would be unusual. --Celithemis 05:58, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Promotion of Atget as an obstacle in Abbott's own success?[edit]

Till my last revision, we read:

Abbott's photography became acknowledged much later in her career [than 1925] owing to her role in promoting Atget's work, which obscured the significance of her own.

That looked odd when I first read it, so I sprinkled “citeneeded” tags on it. I now see that Abbott got considerable recognition in Paris and elsewhere in west Europe during the 20s. I've therefore removed the sentence above. -- Hoary 07:57, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

male clothing[edit]

What about drag king type styles like -- (talk) 19:51, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Are you asking a question, making a suggestion, or what? -- Hoary (talk) 23:11, 29 November 2008 (UTC)