Richard Avedon collectibles

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2015-06-26 10:45:50

Richard Avedon (1923 – 2004) was an award-winning American photographer, famous for his minimalist style of portrait and fashion photography.

He is celebrated for his portraits of iconic figures such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn (who he considered his muse), along with his energetic fashion photography and striking images of Paris.

He was also a social commentator, and his portraits of mental patients, members of the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam War protestors are seen as some of his most important images.

He was The New Yorker magazine’s first staff photographer and produced a number of books including ‘In the American West’, a study of cowboys, miners and drifters in the American Midwest taken over a period of six years that is considered by many to be his best work.

Starting in 1946, he provided work for magazines such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, becoming the lead photographer for Vogue in 1966 and photographing the majority of covers until 1988.

He also shot notable advertising campaigns for designers such as Calvin Klein and Gianni Versace, along with producing some of the most iconic images of the Beatles ever taken.

Avedon died in October 2004 and is commemorated by the Richard Avedon Foundation, a trust set up in his name to support charitable and artistic endeavours.

The proceeds of several Avedon auctions, such as the most recent Christie’s sale in Paris in 2010, are used to created an endowment for the Foundation.

Photography

A Christie’s Paris sale dedicated to Avedon in November 2010, the largest ever of his work, saw several notable sales:

  • The photograph Dovima with Elephants featuring the 1950s model Dovima posing in a Christian Dior dress with two circus elephants became one of the most expensive photographs ever sold, selling for $1.15 million (far beyond its $500,000 - $700,000 estimate).
  • His portrait 'Andy Warhol and members of The Factory, New York, October 9, 1969' sold for $412,301.
  • A rare portfolio of his four psychedelic Beatles portraits sold for $609, 547.

The previous record for his work had been set in 2005 when another of the Beatles portfolios (of which only nine were produced) sold at Christies for $464,000.

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