Avedon, Richard

Avedon, Richard,

1923–2004, American photographer, b. New York City. Son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, he studied philosophy at Columbia, served in the photographic section of the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II, and then studied photography at the New School. As a magazine staff photographer for Harper's Bazaar (1945–65) and Vogue (1966–90), Avedon redefined fashion photography as an art form in which realism mixed with fantasy, and he also became known for his arresting celebrity pictures. Although he originally used outdoor settings with models in motion, his later work predominantly consists of studio portraits set against a plain white background, and is stark and known for its uncompromising realism. Mainly black-and-white, these images of the famous and the unknown gain impact from the larger-than-life format in which they are often printed. His books include Nothing Personal (1964), Portraits (1976), In the American West (1985), An Autobiography (1993), Made in France (2001), and Avedon Fashion: 1944–2000 (2009). Avedon was staff photographer for the New Yorker from 1992 until his death.

Avedon, Richard

(1923–  ) photographer; born in New York City. A product of the public schools, he was a fashion photographer for Harper's (1945–65) and a student of Alexey Brodovitch. Known for his stark portraits of people in unusual poses, he published his first book of celebrity portraits, Observations, in 1959. In 1963 he left his studio to photograph the Civil Rights movement and the Anti-War movement, winning a national magazine award for visual excellence in 1976.