Eye of the Beholder


The Countesse de Castiglione, 1863-66

September 16, 2006 is the last day New Yorkers can view highlights from the late Richard Avedon's amazing photograph collection.

The oldest and most significant photos on display are those by Pierre-Louis Pierson of the Countess de Castiglione. Avedon had what was considered by many to be the most important collection of her portraits in private hands. Indeed, the small photographs on display were once owned by Christian Bérard, who mounted the photographs into a black album and then surrounded them by his own drawings and writings. Beyond their beauty, these portraits provide the fashion historian with a clear example of how the skirts in the early 1860s were beginning to form a teardrop imprint, foreshadowing the bustle periods of later decades.

As if these photos aren't reason enough to go see the show, there are also photographs by Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Irving Penn, Diane Arbus and Brassaï. It took my breath away to be able to inspect Baron Adolphe de Meyer's stylized signature penciled below his portrait of the Marchesa Luisa Casati. Many times I have seen his name reprinted in early Vogues, but to see it in real life....

“Eye of the Beholder: Photographs from the Richard Avedon Collection”
Pace/MacGill Gallery
32 East 57th St., 2nd floor
Ends September 16th!!! Go!

Sarah Scaturro