Jean Shrimpton in 1955, photographed by Lillian Bassman.
Lillian Bassman was one of the most important fashion photographers of the 20th century, best known for her captivating way of capturing starkly contrasted images -- as well as influencing the careers of such talents as Richard Avedon and Robert Frank as the Art Director at Harper's Bazaar.
Said Bassman of her aesthetic in a 1994 interview with B&W magazine:
"I was interested in developing a method of printing on my own, even before I took photographs. I wanted everything soft edges and cropped." She was interested, she said, in "creating a new kind of vision aside from what the camera saw." (Source)
Bassman surrounded by her work in her Manhattan apartment in 2009.
Bassman became disillusioned with the fashion world in the '60s -- the style and the models were no longer a source of interest or inspiration, to such an extent that she destroyed most of her negatives. "I got sick of them,” she told The Times in 2009. "They were becoming superstars. They were not my kind of models. They were dictating rather than taking direction." Nonetheless, Bassman, who died earlier this year at the age of 94, leaves behind beautiful work that captures an era in fashion unlike any other.
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