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суббота, 2 июля 2011 г.

Lillian Bassman

Lillian Bassman is a beloved figure in the pantheon of fashion photographers. Her signature style offers a sensuous and intimate vision of modern women. In New York in the 1950s and 1960s, where sophisticated women were expanding the scope of their lives while being forced into traditional feminine roles, Bassman sought as she put it " to photograph fashion with woman's eye for a woman's intimate feelings".
The women who appear in her photographs tend to be tall and attractive , and they have the kind of seductive expression that comes from keeping secrets.
Born in Brooklyn, on June 15, 1917, Bassman was the second daughter of Russian immigrants who had fled the pogroms.
Bassman's father earned his living as a painting contractor. Bassman later described him as a kind and dependable family man who slipped out the door every morning at dawn, working lond days.
Her mother, was less reconciled to her lot in life. " All my mother wanted was to have her hand kissed" She wanted to partake of the parties, with their jazz and bathtub gin.
In the summer of 1923 , when Lillian was six , her mother took her and her sister to Coney Island for an extended stay on the ocean. Clara, mother of Lillian worked as a waitress at a vegetarian restaurant that claimed to be the first one in America.
The place was owned by her friends Keeva and Sadie Himmel, and it was during this summer that Lillian first met her future husband. Paul Himmel was a nine year old bachelor. The next time they met she was fifteen and soon they were living together in Greenwich village.



She studied at the Textile High School, with Alexey Brodovitch, in Manhattan and graduated in 1933.
From the 1940s until the 1960s, Bassman worked as a fashion photographer for Junior Bazaar and later at Harper's Bazaar,where she promoted the careers of photographers such as Richard Avedon, Robert Frank, Louis Faurer and Arnold Newman.
Under the guidance of the Russian emigrant Alexey Brodovitch, she began to photograph her model subjects primarily in black and white. Her work was published for the most part in Harper’s Bazaar, between 1950-1965.
Disillusioned by the costuming of the late 1960s, she had had enough of fashion and expressed her disdain by destroying decades’ worth of negatives and placing others in a trash bag in the coal room of her Upper East Side carriage house. Her era of furtive eroticism was over, and there was no point in scrapbooking it.




The power of Ms. Bassman’s photographs is the power of a woman who is never moved to make a call.

Bassman is now one of the last great woman photographers in the world of fashion.


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