Richard Avedon (1)

Mention yesterday of the Richard Avedon exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in 1995 and realising that it is now over twenty years ago made me look up if there was any information about the exhibition available online – reviews perhaps, or reports of the conference which was held to mark its anniversary.   There is reference to it in a recently published book about Avedon, which suggests that he took Princess Diana on a private tour round the exhibition before it opened.   This is not strictly accurate.   As I remember it (I realise how fallible memory is), he made clear not long before the opening of the exhibition that he would like Princess Diana to open it.   He said I should contact Marguerite Littman (née Lamkin), who had worked with Avedon during the civil rights movement in the early 1960s.   I did, and even though she was ostensibly not undertaking any public engagements, she did (I remember saying to Patrick Jephson that she could always slip out of the back door and he made clear that she would certainly not want to do this).   It is implied that Avedon was not susceptible to her charms, but I am not convinced that this is strictly true either, given his enthusiasm that she should open it and the way he treated her.

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One thought on “Richard Avedon (1)

  1. As a curious personal aside to this, the young Richard Avedon was confirmed in the Temple Emanu-El of New York City Class of 1939, along with one Betty (later Lauren) Bacall and most importantly Babette Blum (later Bram), my mother.

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