Tuesday, February 14, 2012

r.i.p. lillian bassman

barbara mullen in dior hat, ritz,  harper's bazaar, 1949

black and white, mary jane russell, le pavillon, new york, harper's bazaar, april 1950

barbara mullens, harper's bazaar, 1958

it's a cinch, carmen, harper's bazaar, september 1951

mary jane russell, new york, 1950

anne st. marie, chanel advertisement, new york, 1959

blowing a kiss, barbara mullen, harper's bazaar, 1958

wonders of water, new york, 1959

dressed leg, dorian leigh, harper's bazaar, 1948

legendary photographer lillian bassman died yesterday at the age of 94 from natural causes. she is considered one of the greatest female fashion photographers & credited with promoting the careers of richard avedon, robert frank & louis faurer during her tenure at harper's bazaar from the late 1940s to the mid 1960s.
in the 1970s she lost interest in fashion & famously tossed out 40 years worth of negatives & prints; over 20 years later, she stumbled upon a forgotten trash bag in the coal room of her upper east side home that contained hundreds of her fashion images, which led to a renewed popular interest in her work.
bassman continued working right up until the end of her life, embracing digital technology & photoshop. she told wwd, "everybody's fascinated with the idea of someone who is productive at my age. but i don't know where or who i would be if i weren't working. plus, i'm convinced i'm really 25."

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