GREATEST HITS: The International Center of Photography soon will unveil a yearlong series of exhibitions dedicated to fashion photography, from the Twenties to the present. The “Year of Fashion” series will cover topics from the history of fashion photography to the relationship between art and fashion, and show works from photographers including Richard Avedon, Nick Knight, Steven Meisel, Mario Sorrenti, Steven Klein, Paolo Roversi, Michael Thompson and Miles Aldridge. The first exhibitions, which will be on display beginning Jan. 16, will include 175 works by Edward Steichen, drawn largely from the Condé Nast archives, dating from 1923 to 1937.
Carol Squiers, co-curator, said that, apart from articles on, for instance, the lifestyle of a particular photographer, there wasn’t a great deal of research upon which to call. “There is no sense of history of the medium,” she said, adding that she was drawn, in particular, to Avedon. “He certainly is the most prolific and creative photographer in the history of the medium.”
Vince Aletti, co-curator, personally owns complete runs of Harper’s Bazaar and American Vogue. He spent months researching countless magazines from the U.S. and abroad for the exhibition “Weird Beauty: Fashion Photography Now,” also on display starting Jan. 16. It includes tear sheets and covers published during the past few years.
Other shows coming later in the year include “David Seidner: Paris Fashion, 1945,” and, in May, fashion photography from Avedon dating from 1944 to 2000 will be on display. Noted Aletti, who is also a photography critic for The New Yorker: “In the whole history of fashion photography, Avedon’s the one for me.” — Amy Wicks
THE LOBBYIST BITES BACK: The lobbyist whose ties to Sen. John McCain were prominently featured in a February New York Times article about McCain’s perceived conflicts of interest filed a $27 million defamation lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Richmond on Tuesday. In the suit, Vicki Iseman names The New York Times Co., executive editor Bill Keller, Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet and the four reporters who worked on the story — which implied with a very firm wink but didn’t explicitly state that Iseman and McCain had an extramarital affair eight years before that could have resulted in legislative favors. The story instead noted that several McCain aides had been concerned about the appearance of impropriety.
The lawsuit, first reported by Virginia Lawyers Weekly, alleges the Times’ insinuations of both a romantic relationship and any political outcome resulted in personal and professional damage to Iseman.
The lawsuit also cites several commentators on television, in print and online characterizing the Times piece as implying a romantic relationship between Iseman and McCain, as well as the critique of the story by Times public editor Clark Hoyt, who wrote that if the Times was going to suggest a sexual relationship between a presidential candidate and a lobbyist, it “owes readers more proof” than it provided.
The complaint alleges, “There was no evidence because there was no romantic relationship. There was no evidence because there were no inappropriate legislative favors.”
The New York Times said in a statement: “We fully stand behind the article. We continue to believe it to be true and accurate, and that we will prevail. As we said at the time, it was an important piece that raised questions about a presidential contender and the perception that he had been engaged in conflicts of interest.”
— Irin Carmon