Famed photographer Richard Avedon was a chronicler of fashion, an analyst of social types and the author in pictures of his era who was also at the forefront of the evolution of fashion and photography.
His monumental photo shoots and acclaimed photographs captured the iconic figures of the twentieth century in his starkly bold, intimately minimal, and forensic visual style. Avedon’s work for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue transformed ideals of women’s fashion, culture, and femininity, and became the defining look of an era.
He knew a dazzling circle of cultural pioneers and counted as close friends a profoundly influential group of artists—Leonard Bernstein, Truman Capote, James Baldwin, Harold Brodkey, Renata Adler, Sidney Lumet and Mike Nichols—who shaped the cultural life of the American twentieth century.
An intensely driven man who endured personal and professional prejudice, struggled with deep insecurities, and mounted an existential lifelong battle to be recognized as an artist. In his lifetime, he was condescendingly dismissed as a “celebrity photographer.” It wasn’t until his fashion work was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the late 1970s that Avedon became a household name.
Join Philip Gefter, photography critic and author of the new biography of Avedon for a discussion of Avedon’s photographs as we look at some of his iconic work and reveal what made him one of the most consequential artists of his time.
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