All About Women

It’s difficult to comprehend that only 55 years ago, women of color were not allowed, or at best not recruited, to grace the pages of fashion staple Harper’s Bazaar. Richard Avedon changed all that. Reaching for beauty across cultural spectrums and past traditional subjects, the famed photographer used his clout to challenge the industry and revolutionize it. If editors didn’t like it, such as the time he pushed to photograph Asian model China Machado for Bazaar, he threatened to quit. The photo is now legendary. Moreover, modern women were not mannequins but smart, animated individuals capable of smiling, showing confidence, feeling insecure, laughing. Thus, Avedon helped usher in the idea of the new 20th-century woman to post-War II America. Photographs from the majority of his 60-year career at publications such as Vogue, The New Yorker, and Harper’s Bazaar will be displayed for “Avedon Fashion 1944 -— 2000” at the Norton Museum of Art (1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach). The exhibition will feature more than 130 works, including edition and vintage prints, contact sheets, original magazines, and scholarship on the evolution and impact of his oeuvre. Admission costs $8 or less. Call 561-832-5196, or visit
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.; Sundays, 1 p.m. Starts: Feb. 9. Continues through May 9, 2010
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Erica K. Landau