NEW YORK — Richard Avedon, who set new standards for fashion photography and produced iconic black-and-white portraits of the celebrated as well as the unknown, died today of a brain hemorrhage in San Antonio, Texas. He was 81
Avedon was stricken last month while on assignment for The New Yorker. He had been shooting photos for a piece in the magazine to be called “On Democracy” intended for publication before the November presidential election, a New Yorker spokesman said.
A lifelong New Yorker who attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx and Columbia University, Avedon’s work was exhibited at institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He received a National Arts Award for lifetime achievement last year.
Avedon’s photographs appeared in an array of publications, including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He was named The New Yorker’s first staff photographer by former editor Tina Brown
New Yorker editor David Remnick called Avedon “one of the definitive photographers of our time” in a statement. “Dick recently told a friend, ‘I love being a photographer. It’s the place where it all comes naturally,’” Remnick said. “And so it did, in the pages of The New Yorker and in the many other magazines, books, galleries and museums that have been enriched by his pioneering work over the past six decades.”
The American Society of Media Photographers also issued a statement. “Avedon was perhaps the best-known photographer in the world, and his contributions to the specialties of portrait and fashion photography will long be remembered, appreciated and studied,” said ASMP executive director Eugene Mopsik.