When Richard Avedon died on October 1st, 2004, he left an extraordinary collection of photographs that spans two centuries and reflects an eye attuned equally to masterworks and mug shots. Few had seen the private collection with which he surrounded himself in his apartment on East 75th Street in New York. These photographs, assembled over five decades, are the subject of Eye of the Beholder: Photographs from the Collection of Richard Avedon.
Avedon knew a good photograph when he saw one. Though he was far more interested in making pictures than collecting them, he lived surrounded by photographs of every kind, from the exalted to the unknown. “Neurotic women” (his words) were among his particular interests, though his curiosity was vigorous and his pursuits could not be predicted.