Patricia Layman Bazelon (1933-1995), Section of No. 2 Stripper and 44” Mill Pit, Looking South, from the series, Steel, n.d.; Chromogenic print on paper, (911240#1), 20 1/2 x 19 ½ inches (sight); frame: 28 ¾ x 27 ¾ x 1 inches; Gift of Anthony Bannon and Elizabeth Stewart, 2017
Patricia Layman Bazelon became known for her 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 also its modernist composition, reminiscent of the conceptual work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, sets it apart from many other her other images of the site.
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 and The Gallery Architects. She also worked with Reyner Banham, a member of the Independent Group in London, to illustrate his book, A Concrete Atlantis, exploring the relationship between North American industrial buildings, such as grain elevators, and International Style European architecture. She became the chief photographer for the Brooklyn Museum in 1988. Her photographs are collected in major museums in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Brooklyn, and St. Paul, Minnesota. —NW