August Pingpank Barber Shop, 413 Bleecker Street

Accession Number

August Pingpank Barber Shop, 413 Bleecker Street

Berenice Abbott

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

12 1/8 in. x 9 5/8 in. ( 30.8 cm x 24.4 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Two Friends of the Museum

Label copy
As a facet of her large Changing New York project, Abbott shot a number of storefront windows. When she photographed August Pingpank’s shop in 1938, Pingpank was reputed to be the oldest barber in the City, at 87 years old. Located in Greenwich Village, Pingpank’s shop had been in business for over fifty years, and his establishment retained many Victorian details. The accoutrements of Pingpank’s trade are visible in the window display, including shaving mugs and a photograph of the interior. Abbott constructs an intricate play among reflections and interior and exterior elements, such as the top of the barber pole and the light fixture in the shop. How life was lived in the city, not merely the immense scale of its architecture, was a facet of Abbott’s chronicle of New York.
Carole McNamara, Assistant Director for Collections & Exhibitions
on the occasion of the exhibition New York Observed: The Mythology of the City
(July 13 – September 22, 2003)

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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modern and contemporary art

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& Author Notes

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