New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1978. 1st Edition. Folio, publisher's laminated photo-illustrated boards, original printed acetate dust jacket.
Presentation copy of Avedon's mid-career retrospective, inscribed to Diana Vreeland, the magazine editor who launched his career and who was his principle collaborator over four decades: "For Diana / With more love and gratitude than there is in the world / Love Dick." The son of Russian-Jewish immigrants in the garment industry, Avedon got his start shooting department store ads, and soon was contributing to magazines such as Vogue, Life, and Harper's Bazaar, where he revolutionized fashion photography. In place of stiff mannequin-like poses, Avedon’s women "leapt off the page; they danced and tumbled and communicated" (New York Times). The Parisian-born daughter of patrician American parents, Vreeland owned a lingerie boutique in London before signing on as a columnist (and later editor) at Harper's Bazaar, where she remained for nearly 30 years. In 1962 she left to become editor-in-chief at Vogue, and later worked as a special consultant for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. "When he first met Diana Vreeland in the offices of Harper's Bazaar, Richard Avedon was an eager young photographer whom she haphazardly referred to as 'Aberdeen….' As fashion editor, [Vreeland] had revamped the pages of Harper's to inspire and beguile in a time of post-war bleakness. Harper's was the ideal outlet, and Mrs. Vreeland the ideal partner, for Avedon to pioneer and define his groundbreaking style. For two decades the pair collaborated at Harper's, bringing a naturalness and ease to fashion spreads while infusing them with a never-before-seen movement, vitality and narrative… Avedon was the only photographer that Mrs. Vreeland brought to Vogue when she became Editor-in-Chief, and their collaboration continued to chart new territory. The two were kindred spirits — neither believed in conforming to the status quo. At Vogue in the '60s and '70s they redefined beauty and style in step with the revolutionary times. Together they sought out unconventional beauties like Veruschka, Twiggy and Penelope Tree; their images of Barbara Streisand and Angelica Huston, among others, thrust the young women into the limelight overnight; and they pioneered the energetic, girl-next-door American look with the likes of Lauren Hutton. At her memorial service Avedon gave a moving speech that revealed the high regard he held her in. 'Diana lived for imagination ruled by discipline, and created a totally new profession,' he said. He viewed her as the defining fashion editor and together they created new styles of fashion photography" (www.legacy.dianavreeland.com). Illustrated with 162 black-and-white plates (Vreeland and Avedon appear together, with the model Dovima, in plate 148). Vreeland's private collection book label to rear pastedown, above bookseller's ticket. Exhibit card for a 1997 show of Vreeland's photographic archive laid in. Minor fingersoiling to endpapers; light surface rubbing to original acetate dust jacket. A singular presentation copy, and moving testament to one of the great artistic collaborations of the 20th century. Item #1033