Jacob Israel Avedon, father of Richard Avedon, Sarasota Florida, 1971.

Richard Avedon

January 1–January 1

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
September 26, 2002–January 5, 2003

Curated by Laura Hoptman

Richard Avedon’s life as a portrait photographer began in the ’40s when he was assigned to take mug shots in the merchant marines. “I must have taken pictures of maybe 100,000 baffled faces before it ever occurred to me I was becoming a photographer,” he said. That experience may explain why Avedon’s style is so stringent. The 180 pictures in “Richard Avedon: Portraits,” curated by Maria Morris Hambourg, run from the ’40s to the present. But the focus is Avedon’s gift to the Metropolitan Museum of the 115 photographs from his landmark 1975 show at the Marlborough Gallery: images of writers, actors, artists, criminals, psychiatrists, philosophers, and lawyers, as well as three mural-size group portraits of the Chicago Seven, the Mission Council, and Andy Warhol’s Factory.