Richard Avedon

Fashion photography came into popular use in the 1880s, when new technologies made it quick and easy to reproduce images of society women wearing the latest designs. The primary function of the fashion photograph was to represent the clothes as accurately as possible. All this changed with Richard Avedon.

In 1947, the young American photographer arrived in France determined to represent French fashions as though casually observed on the streets of Paris. Replacing stiff poses with energetic action shots, like a model leaping over a puddle or riding a bicycle, he transformed the pages of fashion magazines forever.

Born into a Jewish family in New York City in 1923, Avedon worked as a photographer for the Merchant Marines before training with the legendary designer Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research. Brodovitch also worked as the art director at Harper’s Bazaar, and soon Avedon’s photographs were appearing in the fashion pages of the magazine.

It was the combination of realism and the fantastic that made Avedon’s photographs so extraordinary. His women nuzzled elephants, posed among circus performers, balanced on walls. So celebrated did he become that he inspired the film Funny Face featuring his favourite model, Audrey Hepburn.

By the 1960s, he was being commissioned to photograph the powerful and the accomplished, among them The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy. He developed a deceptively simple studio portrait style, uncompromising and direct, portraying his subjects against white backgrounds.

In 1979, Avedon was commissioned by the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas to create portraits of ordinary people of the American West. The images, unflinching depictions of teenagers, miners, waitresses and drifters, became the most important body of work the photographer made and shattered the stereotypes of the American West.

In 2001, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He died of a cerebral haemorrhage in 2004 while working on an assignment for The New Yorker magazine.

In 2020, Avedon’s quintessential image, Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, 1955, achieved a world auction record for the photographer at Christie’s New York, selling for $1,815,000.


理查德·艾维顿 (1923-2004)

《朵薇玛与大象,迪奥晚装,冬季马戏团,巴黎,1955年》

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Dovima with elephants, Evening dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, August 1955

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

The Beatles, London, August 11, 1967

RICHARD AVEDON (1923–2004)

Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, 1955

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

The Beatles Portfolio, London, England, 8-11-67

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Marilyn Monroe, New York City, May 6, 1957

RICHARD AVEDON (1923–2004)

Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, 1955

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Andy Warhol and Group, October 1969

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Marilyn Monroe, actress, New York city, 6 mai 1957

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Blue Cloud Wright, Slaughterhouse Worker, Omaha, Nebraska, August 10, 1979

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Stephanie Seymour, model, New York City, May 9, 1992

RICHARD AVEDON (1923–2004)

Tom Stroud, oil field worker, Velma, Oklahoma, June, 12, 1980

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Dovima with Elephants, Evening dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, 1955

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Suzy Parker and Robin Tattersall, Dress by Dior, Place de la Concorde, Paris, August 1956

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, Paris, 1955

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Dovima with elephants, Evening dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, August 1955

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Brigitte Bardot, 1959

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Andy Warhol, artist, New York City, August 20, 1969

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Marilyn Monroe, actress, New York City, May 1957

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Minneapolis Portfolio

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Stephanie Seymour, model, New York City, May 9, 1992

Richard Avedon (1923-2004)

Brigitte Bardot, Hair by Alexandre, Paris Studio, Paris, France, January 1959

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Stephanie Seymour, Model, New York City, 1992

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Brigitte Bardot, 1959

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Charlene van Tighem, physical therapist, Augusta, Montana, 6-26-83

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Avedon Paris, 1978

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

James Story, coal miner, Somerset, Colorado, 12-18-79

RICHARD AVEDON (1923–2004)

Dovima with Elephants, 1955

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Brigitte Bardot, 1959

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Richard Avedon, self-portrait, New York City, vers 1963

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent, Los Angeles, California, June 14, 1981

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Malcolm X, New York City, March 27, 1963

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Pablo Picasso, April 1958

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Lauren Hutton, Great Exuma, the Bahamas, October 1968

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Samuel Beckett, Paris, France, April 13, 1979

RICHARD AVEDON (1923–2004)

Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, 1955

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Debbie McClendon, carney, Thermopolis, Wyoming, 7-29-81

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, August 1955

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Nastassja Kinski, Los Angeles, California, June 14, 1981

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Francis Bacon, artist, Paris, 4-11-79

RICHARD AVEDON (1923–2004)

Lew Alcindor, Basketball Player, 61st Street and Amsterdam Avenue, New York City, May 2, 1963

Richard Avedon (1923-2004)

Marilyn Monroe, actress, New York City, May 6, 1957

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Lauren Hutton, Great Exuma, The Bahamas, October 1968

RICHARD AVEDON (1923-2004)

Lauren Hutton, Great Exuma, the Bahamas, October 1968