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Details & Cataloguing

Photographs

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Richard Avedon
1923-2004
'AVEDON/PARIS', 1978
Portfolio with 11 silver prints, printed 1978. Each signed and numbered 38/75 in pencil and with the portfolio, copyright, and individual title stamps on the reverse. Together with the printed plate list/colophon, within a wrapper as issued, signed and numbered 38/75 in pencil on the front, and the individual wrappers numbered sequentially 1 to 11 in pencil. The prints individually mounted and framed.
Self-published, New York, 1978. With the original linen clamshell box with the photographer's name printed in red.
Each print approx. 36.2 x 45.7 cm (14 ¼  x 18 in.) or the reverse
box 54.5 x 43 x 3.5 cm (21 ½ x 17 x 1  3/8  in.)
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Provenance

Acquired from the photographer, c. 1979 - 80

Catalogue Note

Titles included:
Elise Daniels with Street Performers, Suit by Balenciaga, Le Marais, Paris, August 1948
Renée, The New Look of Dior, Place de la Concorde, Paris, August 1949
Dorian Leigh, Coat by Dior, Avenue Montaigne, Paris, August 1949
Carmen (Homage to Munkacsi), Coat by Cardin, Place Françoise Premier, Paris, August 1957
Dorian Leigh, Evening dress by Piguet, Helena Rubinstein apartment, Île St.-Louis, Paris, August 1949
Dorian Leigh, Schiaparelli rhinestones, Pré-Catelan, Paris, August 1949
Sunny Harnett, Evening dress by Grès, Casino, Le Touquet, August 1954
Suzy Parker and Robin Tattersall, Evening dress by Griffe, Folies-Bergère, Paris, August 1957
Elise Daniels, Turban by Paulette, Pré-Catelan, Paris, August 1948
Suzy Parker, Evening dress by Lanvin-Castillo, Café des Beaux Arts, Paris, August 1956
Marlene Dietrich, Turban by Dior, The Ritz, Paris, August 1955 

Published in 1978 to coincide with Avedon’s acclaimed retrospective at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 13 September - 5 November 1978, Avedon/Paris contains the most glamorous images of his early fashion photography. One of the museum’s first exhibitions dedicated to a living photographer, this career defining retrospective featured over 2,000 photographs hung in several galleries, with the first two dedicated to Avedon’s early fashion photography and included all of the works in this portfolio. 

The photographs here are a testament to how post-war fashion photography provided a much needed escapism of glamour, adventure, luxury and pleasure. Quintessentially French in their aesthetic, these fashion photographs show the most famous models of the 1940s and 1950s at leisure in Paris: jumping over puddles, playing roulette, backstage at the Folies Bergère, dressed in the most coveted couture clothing by the celebrated French fashion houses of the day including Dior, Grès and Lanvin-Castillo. All of the models featured were the most recognised and sought after models working in fashion, muses to Avedon throughout his career.

Although Avedon is first and foremost known as a fashion photographer for his work in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar magazines, he was also extremely prolific and influential in both his directing and contribution to television advertising campaigns right from the start of his career. It was through this field that the present owner of the portfolio met Avedon and acquired it directly from him when he was hired to create a television commercial for Purex ‘Toss ‘n Soft’ fabric softener sheets. Through both his high fashion magazine shoots and advertisements for the biggest consumer companies of the era including Revlon, Colgate and Wonderbra, Avedon was afforded a very lucrative career as a photographer who helped define America’s idea of beauty and style.

Photographs

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London