Richard Avedon

Photographs 1946-2004

July 11-November 29, 2009

Whether photographing politicians, artists, writers, fashion models, or movie stars, Richard Avedon revolutionized the genre of portraiture. He rejected conventional stiff-and-staid poses and instead captured both motion and emotion in the faces of his subjects, often encapsulating their intrigue in a single charged moment. SFMOMA is proud to be the only U.S. venue for this retrospective that spans the artist's remarkable career. Featuring nearly 200 photographs along with a selection of vintage magazines, the exhibition presents work ranging from Avedon's earliest street scenes to his breakthrough 1950s Paris fashion pictures and the iconic celebrity portraits that brought him world renown. This in-depth retrospective reveals Avedon's singular ability to blur the lines between photojournalism, fashion photography, and fine art.

Richard Avedon: Photographs 1946-2004 is organized by The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, in cooperation with The Richard Avedon Foundation.

The San Francisco presentation is made possible by generous support from The Bernard Osher Foundation, Nion McEvoy, Credit Suisse, and Paul and Anne Wattis. W San Francisco is the official hotel sponsor for the exhibition.

  • Richard Avedon self portrait
    Self-portrait, photographer, Provo, Utah, August 20, 1980; 2009 The Richard Avedon Foundation
  • Bjrk, musician, New York, June 2, 2004; 2009 The Richard Avedon Foundation
  • Janis Joplin, singer, Port Arthur, Texas, August 28. 1969; 2009 The Richard Avedon Foundation
  • Twiggy, hair by Ara Gallant, Paris studio, 1968; 2009 The Richard Avedon Foundation
  • Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, 1955; gelatin silver print; courtesy The Richard Avedon Foundation; 2009 The Richard Avedon Foundation
  • Richard Avedon with Twiggy, Paris studio, April 1967; 2009 The Richard Avedon Foundation
  • Marilyn Monroe, actor, New York, May 6, 1957; 2009 The Richard Avedon Foundation
  • Bob Dylan, musician, Central Park, New York, February 10, 1965; 2009 The Richard Avedon Foundation