The International Center for Photography

In Uncategorized on June 15, 2009 at 2:16 pm

For an art institution, the International Center for Photography may be in an odd location–43rd and 6th Avenue, the Bermuda triangle of Manhattan–but it is well-worth the swim through the Times Square-bound tourists. In addition to having a school that offers great lectures, public programming, and classes (continuing education and full-time programs), the museum at ICP has a great permanent collection. According to the website,

The collection is strongest in its holdings of American and European documentary photography of the 1930s to the 1990s. It comprises large bodies of work by W. Eugene Smith, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Farm Security Administration photographers, Alfred Eisenstadt, Lisette Model, Gordon Parks, James VanDerZee, and Garry Winogrand. Recent purchases have included work by contemporary photographers such as Carrie Mae Weems, Justine Kurland, Katy Grannan, Vik Muniz, Tomoko Sawada, and Susan Meiselas.

The ICP also puts on excellent special exhibitions, and it is this aspect that makes me particularly inclined to write about ICP today: one of their summer shows, Avedon fashion, 1944-2000, showcases the fashion photographs of the famous artist. Personally, I am more familiar with Avedon’s portraits, such as his famous shot of Marilyn Monroe with her guard down. But it seems that Avedon lent the same dynamism and vitality to his bread-and-butter images as he did his artistic ouevre. After reading Roberta Smith’s glowing review in the New York Times, I am putting this exhibition on my must-see list for the summer. The exhibition is open through September 6 (according to the press release; the website says September 20).

Veruschka, dress by Kimberly, New York, January 1967Jade Parfitt and Esther De Jong, ensembles by Galliano, New York

(Left, Veruschka, dress by Kimberly, New York, January 1967; right, Jade Parfitt and Esther De Jong, ensembles by Galliano, New York, March 1998. © 2009 The Richard Avedon Foundation)

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