b. 1923 New York, d. 2004 San Antonio
Richard Avedon is one of the twentieth century’s legendary photographers. At De Witt Clinton High School, he co-edited the school magazine with his classmate James Baldwin. He served in the US Merchant Marines where he photographed portraits for identification cards and passports. He returned to New York to study photography at the New School for Social Research with renowned art director Alexei Brodovitch. He then established himself as the leading fashion photographer for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. All the while, he was creating portraits of artists, writers, actors and intellectuals. In 1964, Avedon and Baldwin, by then a celebrated novelist, collaborated on the publication Nothing Personal. Together, Baldwin's essay and Avedon's portraits reflect the culture of the Civil Rights movement in the United States. Avedon was embraced by the art world for his portraiture, his work exhibited in museums throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2002-2003 and the National Portrait Gallery in London in 1994-1995. He died in Texas while on assignment for The New Yorker, where he was its first photographer.