RARE ASSOCIATION COPY OF AVEDON’S OBSERVATIONS, INSCRIBED TO FILM PRODUCER ARTHUR HORNBLOW AND HIS WIFE, FEATURING OVER 100 PHOTOGRAVURE PORTRAITS AND TEXT BY CAPOTE
AVEDON, Richard. Observations. Photographs by Richard Avedon. Comments by Truman Capote. New York: Simon and Schuster, (1959). Folio, original white paper-covered boards, original acetate dust wrapper, original slipcase. $5200.
First edition of Avedon’s stellar book of portraiture, a distinctive association copy warmly inscribed to film producer Arthur Hornblow, Jr. and his wife Leonora (Bubbles), “For Bubbles & Arthur with admiration, Dick,” featuring commentary by Truman Capote and over 100 photogravures.
“Richard Avedon set the standard for portraiture and fashion photography in the second half of the 20th century… His photographs… virtually jump off the page with a signature brand of visual impact” (New York Times). “Observations is the culmination of a creative collaboration between Avedon and Alexey Brodovitch that began in 1945, when the imperial art director hired the 22-year-old photographer… as the youngest member of his team at Harper’s Bazaar” (Roth, 148). Avedon’s “later adoption of a seamless white studio background for most of his fashion and portrait photography was at least partly inspired by Mr. Brodovitch’s characteristic use of ‘white space,’ a means of making the subject seem suspended and weightless on the page” (Times). Not long after Capote and Avedon finished their work on Observations, they again collaborated in documenting the story of a brutal murder in Kansas, In Cold Blood (1965). This rare presentation/association copy warmly inscribed by Avedon to Arthur Hornblow, Jr., “one of Hollywood’s preeminent movie makers” (New York Times), and his wife Leonora Schinasi Hornblow (“Bubbles”). A lawyer and innovative Broadway producer, Hornblow earned four Oscar-nominations as a film producer, including Gaslight (1944) and Witness for the Prosecution (1957). Open Book, 174.
Images clean and bright, light soiling, edge-wear to near-fine book; some chipping to edges of acetate, moderate rubbing to original slipcase. A near-fine association copy, scarce complete with original acetate wrapper and slipcase.