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Berenice Abbott's first photographs date from 1925 and were taken at Man Ray's Paris studio.  At the start of her career she made a conscious decision, dictated by artistic and commercial considerations, to pursue portraiture. She enjoyed immediate critical and financial success and within a year had her own studio and gallery showings.  The output of this first phase of her career is often referred to as ''Paris Portraits''; but in reality some of these photographs were taken in New York between 1929 and 1931, and it is impossible to differentiate stylistically between those made in one city or the other. All these portraits were made on medium to large glass plates. Abbott's career as a portraitist waned when the economic pressures of the Depression forced her to give up her studio in 1931, by which time she was devoting herself to photographing New York.