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Patricia Layman Bazelon

Patricia Layman Bazelon

(1933-1995)

Skilled at photographing architecture, Patricia Layman Bazelon became known for her two series Buffalo’s Grain Elevators and Steel, which was taken over a five-year period at an abandoned Bethlehem Steel mill on Lake Erie in Lackawanna. Her work often exhibits a romantic quality, with lush colors and dramatic contrasts of light and shadow. Not only is this a striking image from her most famous series; but its modernist composition, reminiscent of the conceptual photographic work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, sets it apart from many of the other images of the Bethlehem Steel site she documented.

Born and educated in London, England, Bazelon immigrated to the United States in 1961 and worked in Manhattan as a film and video producer for advertising firms. After moving to Buffalo in 1979, Bazelon produced photographs for Buffalo Architecture: A Guide, A Concrete Atlantis (Reyner Banham’s book exploring the relationship between North American industrial buildings, such as grain elevators, and European architecture in the International Style), and The Gallery Architects. She became the chief photographer for the Brooklyn Museum in 1988, and commuted to Buffalo as often as possible to complete her personal photographic series. Her widely published photographs are in major museum collections in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Brooklyn, and St. Paul, Minnesota.