AVEDON AT 100 - Smithsonian Celebrates with Iconic Objects Out of Storage Event One Day Only

Dovima with the Elephants and Marian Anderson on Display
April 21, 2023

Richard Avedon (1923–2004) was one of the 20th century’s most influential photographers. Initially associated with high fashion and high society, Avedon moved seamlessly in and out of Manhattan’s social echelons from uptown to downtown, yet he was emotionally and professionally invested in cultural awareness, social and political issues, impact and authenticity.

For one day only Friday, May 5, from 1-3 p.m., the staff from the Archives Center and Photographic History Collections at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will showcase an extraordinary selection of approximately two dozen Avedon objects out of storage to mark the iconic photographer’s 100th birthday month. (Avedon’s actual birthday was May 15).

Photographs from Avedon’s first solo show in 1962, including Dovima with Elephants and Marian Anderson will be on view, alongside other portraits and fashion photographs from the first half of his career.
Revlon advertisements that defined a generation with iconic models such as Lauren Hutton and Rene Russo will also be on view. The artifacts will be displayed in front of the museum’s continuing exhibition “(re)Framing Conversations: Richard Avedon 1946-1965”.

About "(re)Framing Conversations: Photographs by Richard Avedon, 1946–1965"
Twenty of Avedon’s famous images spanning two decades, curated from the extensive Photographic History Collection preserved at the National Museum of American History are now on display on the museum’s third floor Culture Wing, and is made possible by support from Judy and Leonard Lauder, with additional funding from Marcia and Frank Carlucci and the William Talbott Hillman Foundation.

Avedon and the Smithsonian—A Brief History
In November 1962, the Smithsonian hosted Avedon’s first solo show as part of a series of exhibitions displaying work by members of the Famous Photographers School. Avedon then donated the whole of that exhibition to the Smithsonian. Two additional donations of his work followed in the 1960s from which the photographs for this exhibition are drawn. In total, the National Museum of American History preserves almost 1,000 photographs, negatives, advertisements and print proofs by Avedon.

Accessibility Information
Visitors can use their phone to access visual descriptions with QR codes located throughout the exhibition.

About the Museum
Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History seeks to empower people to create a more just and compassionate future by examining, preserving and sharing the complexity of our past. The museum, located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th streets, is open Friday through Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Admission is free, and passes are not required. The doors of the museum are always open online and the virtual museum continues to expand its offerings, including online exhibitions, K–12 educational materials and programs. The public can follow the museum on social media on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. For more information, visit the museum’s website. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.

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Editor's Note:
On behalf of Shannon Perich, Curator, Photographic History Collection, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, we hope you will plan a visit for this historic one-day-only event.
Please contact Janie Hoffman at jhoffman@planetatp.com.com for both or either proper formatted image(s) and full credit lines of Dovima with the Elephants and/or Marian Anderson. We appreciate your cooperation in not using the images included in this release.