Monday, August 28, 2006

In Portraits by Others, a Look That Caught Avedon’s Eye

RICHARD AVEDON set the standard for portraiture and fashion photography in the second half of the 20th century, so it is no surprise that his work is sought by serious collectors. But far less well known than his soigné magazine images is that when he died in 2004 he had amassed a significant photography collection of his own.

“From the time he was 10 and the owner of a box camera,” Truman Capote wrote about Avedon in “Observations,” a book they collaborated on in 1959, “the walls of his room were ceiling to floor papered with pictures torn from magazines, photographs by Munkacsi and Steichen and Man Ray.”

If those tear sheets suggested what Avedon’s own pictures would become, the photographs he collected informed his later career.


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