Skip to content

So Easy To See: Berenice Abbott’s Super SightThrough March 2024

In 1939, relentless experimenter and inventor Berenice Abbott embarked on a new project to ally photography and science, proposing a bold artistic role for herself as a “friendly interpreter between science and the layman.”

Abbott developed a method to produce large photographs of small objects without the intervention of a photographic enlarger. Her technique of direct image capture, which she called the “Abbott Process,” or “Super Sight,” was loosely based on the ancient camera obscura and produced images of definition and transparency that were astonishing in their realism.

This exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Image Centre of Toronto, is the first large scale exhibition of Abbott’s work with this process. On view are large Super Sight photographs, as well as documentation of Super Sight’s creative evolution and critical reception through correspondence, manuscripts, drawings and publications from MIT’s Berenice Abbott Archive.

See what the Boston Globe has to say about the exhibtion.

Located in the Ronald A. (1954) and Carol S. Kurtz Photography Gallery

Image: Fish Head, 1946. Gelatin silver print. Berenice Abbott Collection, MIT Museum. Gift of Ron and Carol Kurtz.