To get to Long Island’s Nassau County Museum of Art, you have to detour off busy Northern Boulevard in Roslyn Harbor. Located on the former Frick Estate on a picturesque 145 acre campus, the quiet drive to the entrance passes natural and artistic beauty quite befitting the majestic Gold Coast.
How appropriate to be in this environment where until September 4th, so much elegance and sophistication is currently on display with the exhibition entitled Richard Avedon: Photographer of Influence.
To say that Avedon’s work was influential is quite evident from the moment you enter the first gallery where his work hangs with majestic style. At certain times during the day, a museum docent guides you through the life and times of this photographic genius.
Avedon worked mostly in black and white and he worked and created the careers of a number of fashion models. But first, a gift of a Rolleiflex camera from his father as young Richard joined the Merchant Marines during World War II. He ended up in the photographic division where he wound up taking personnel identification photos.
Later on after the war, Richard Avedon made a photographic name for himself by focusing on high fashion and advertising industries, with stylized photo shoots that made him a star and chief photographer of Harper’s Bazaar.
As you wander the galleries, you see one remarkable photograph after another, each with a visual style that showcases Avedon’s creativity. Think about one of his famous quotations “All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.”
Discover the accuracy and think about the stories behind photographs that include a very happy pianist Vladimir Horowitz, a very disturbed Ezra Pound, the combination of Audrey Hepburn with Art Buchwald, Louis Armstrong at the Newport Jazz Festival, a troubled Marilyn Monroe next to a happy Monroe with husband playwright Arthur Miller, the model Davima with elephants (the Dior evening dress she wears is also on display), the lovely Marlene Dietrich, Twiggy, the stunning Brigitte Bardot, Katherine Hepburn, Jean Shrimpton, Cyd Charisse, Rudolf Nureyev, Truman Capote, Sophia Loren, composer Igor Stravinsky, Ronald Reagan, legendary singers Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan and more.
Richard Avedon was a celebrated photographer whose work is worth celebrating. You’ll welcome the opportunity to do just that as you explore a stunning collection of his work, presented in this majestic environment.