Upper West Side Story: The Dazzling Rise of Richard Avedon

Upper West Side Story: The Dazzling Rise of Richard Avedon

The New York Times-Books·2020-10-16 15:00

WHAT BECOMES A LEGEND MOST A Biography of Richard AvedonBy Philip Gefter

Toward the beginning of “What Becomes a Legend Most,” Philip Gefter sets a scene. A 17-year-old Dicky Avedon, awkward and insecure but with “a would-be poet’s impulse” to look for magic all around him, is working in the darkroom of his friend Mike’s photography studio on West 57th Street. Suddenly three giggling debutantes burst in, close to him in age but impossibly remote in their breezy patrician privilege. Customers at Mike’s mother’s candy store uptown, they are looking for a place to change, “out of sight of any parental supervision … into evening wear for a night out at the Stork Club, where their stealth mission to find suitable husbands allowed tony socializing in a splendorous atmosphere, and also provided a great deal of winsome fun.”

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America

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