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Avedon: Something Personal

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  65 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
An intimate biography of Richard Avedon, the legendary fashion and portrait photographer who "helped define America's image of style, beauty and culture" (The New York Times), by his longtime collaborator and business partner Norma Stevens and award-winning author Steven M. L. Aronson.

Richard Avedon was arguably the world's most famous photographer--as artistically influen
Hardcover, 720 pages
Published November 21st 2017 by Spiegel & Grau
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Petra X
Jan 19, 2018 is currently reading it
There is no truth, no history - there is only the way the story is told." Richard Avedon
You know the six degrees thing? I'm connected by only two degrees. One of his favourite models, still beautiful in their 80s, was very close to my grandparents, and now to me. So I'm really interested in this book.

I'm up to chapter 3, all it seems into be about his shows at NY's museums and art galleries and the 'glittering' people who attend them. One thing made me laugh. Avedon had done the iconic pics of t
The dazzling character and creative genius of Richard Avedon (1923-2004) was captured in this informative and remarkable biography by Norma Stevens (with editor Steven Aronson). After Avedon’s grand arrival in her NYC apartment at a dinner party in 1974, Stevens began working for him as his executive assistant and remained in employment until his death. Stevens was among Avedon’s closest confidants, and provided the details to verify her stories. The Avedon Foundation and Avedon’s only son dispu ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
My review for the Chicago Tribune:

When he was still only in his 30s, the influential and iconic photographer Richard Avedon provided the inspiration for Fred Astaire’s character, Dick Avery, in the 1957 movie “Funny Face.” In fact, Avedon’s deliberately overexposed portrait of Audrey Hepburn — disembodied nose, lips, eyes and eyebrows — appears in the film’s title sequence, which he designed.

Yet Avedon himself managed, over the course of his six-decade ca
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a book for die-hard Avedon fans, not to be picked up for mere curiosity. Ms. Stevens does a fine job of bringing Avedon to life, and her love for him permeates it, but I wish she’d pared down the endless remembrances of the master by his myriad interns and lowly assistants–all of whom had a love/hate relationship with him–that drags on endlessly, way toooooo many. She also has celebrities, models and well-known people in the art world comment and these are a bit more interesting, we all ...more
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I'm a professional fashion photographer with an Art History degree. I *adore* Avedon. I owe so much of my creative and professional life to him. Hell, we *have* an Avedon. So it kills me to not give this book five stars.

This is not a book for professional photographers or art historians. This is a book for "civilians", for those who still see fashion as glamourous and fun, because they're not knee-deep in the s*** of it.

It's a fun read. It is. If anyone should have written this book, it was Ste
Krusher Basta
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: photography
As the title implies, this is a very personal account of the life and work of Richard Avedon, written by his Studio Director from 1976 until his death in 2004. In addition to her accounts of his life, both personal and professional, there are many contributions from those he photographed, those who worked for him, clients, fellow photographers, friends and family. I particularly enjoyed behind the scenes accounts of some of his most iconic photographs, and where some of his favorite models are t ...more
Chuck Kramer
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
A bloated, celebrity-name-dropping, gossipy bio that seems more concerned with burnishing Avedon’s image as a great “personality” than explaining his photographic genius, his business acumen, or his personal life. Superficial and inconsequential.
Willo Font
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, finally finish this book. I’ve been busy and the book is quite long too. For me have a done is those power is black and whites. I saw them when I was a kid and immediately grab me they had motion they had life. That’s something that was not common in fashion at the time. Years later became photographer . When he was preparing for his math exhibit all those photographs were being printed at Modernage. Are used to work there and I used to see Gideon every day, early in the morning till late ...more
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read. Loved all of the interviews with assistants. That was the most interesting part of the book. The assistants stayed along time with him -- very interesting details of how the studio was run -- and his process. I now see him as a much kinder person than I had originally thought him to be. Sad to think that sort of business model for creating imagery no longer exists. Digital killed the magic of image making. It was an amazing time when so many people were involved in the process.
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book even though it wasn't a 'Richard Avedon' book if you know what I mean. It was put together by Norma his trusted aide and through the eyes of others that were 'close' to him. He was a closed book really. Norma touches on the issues with his only son but doesn't go anywhere so you are left hanging as to what has happened. Still a good read.
Dianne Lange
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating, but readers not interested in photography or fashion magazines might find it tedious, especially the interview transcripts of assistants. They do go on! Still, I found pearls of insight to the man (and gossip) in their stories.
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I hoped it would never end.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, although I had to do many Google searches for illustrations and people. I need to each Funny Face again.
Kevin Mckinnon
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Gossipy and trivial. Avedon deserves a much better biography.
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