Entrance to Exhibition

~ Boston Museum of Fine Arts, “Avedon Fashion: 1944-2000″ ~

For almost sixty years, Richard Avedon (1923-2004) brought fashion to life via his artful camera. His photos mayhave started out as advertisement for Dior, Chanel, or Versace, but they ended up as events. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is currently hosting the traveling exhibit “Avedon Fashion: 1944-2000″, which is the first comprehensive survey of Avedon’s fashion photography since 1978. Avedon has been heralded in the fashion industry as a pioneer, one who revolutionized the work of fashion photographers.  Using a photojournalist’s approach, Avedon replaced formal, mannequin-like studio poses with dynamic images of models who are full of expression, often on location, and always in motion.

Suzy Parker with Robin Tattersall, dress by Dior, Place de la Concorde, Paris, August 1956

Images are grouped by decades and presented to show his

progression as a photographer and artist. Avedon’s volume of work was huge — the exhibition highlig

hts about 140 objects. Original prints, negatives, and notebooks are displayed alongside Bazaar issues from the 1940’s. Separated into three galleries chronicling the periods 1944-1949, 1950-1959, and 1960-2000, we follow along as Avedon’s technique (not to mention the direction of fashion itself) evolves.

Richard Avedon was only 21 when he sold his first photo for $7.50 and was soon working for Harper’s Bazaar. They sent him to Paris, where he made his reputation, reconstructing the pre-war glamour of the city. By the late ’50s Avedon was arguably the most famous photographer in the world. The 1960s brought a youthquake of mod culture and Avedon certainly captured the tenor of the times. He was the first prominent photographer to use multi-racial models, turning Donyale Luna into the first major African-American high-fashion model in U.S. fashion magazines.

The 1970s saw Avedon continuing to reflect the energy and liberated styles of the times, photographing models in mini dresses and menswear-inspired clothing.  By the 1980s, until his departure from the magazine in 1988, Avedon shot nearly every cover for Vogue; after 1990, Avedon worked exclusively on ad campaigns and catalogues for Gianni Versace. In 1992, he became the first staff photographer for The New Yorker, where he contributed several fashion essays.  Avedon continued to dominate the photographic world until his death in 2004.

“Avedon Fashion: 1944-2000″ will continue to be on display through January 17th, 2011 — trust us fashioniSTAs when we say it is a highly recommended addition to your itinerary. Check out this display while you can!

~ Kim, Manager Harvard Square, Second Time Around

Jade Parfitt & Esther De Jong In Art Deco ensembles by Galliano, New York City, March 26, 1998

Donyale Luna, dress by Paco Rabanne, New York, December 1966