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Lillian Bassman

Born: 1917 in New York

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Art objects of this artist

Bassman, Lillian ◊ Anneliese Seubert, Paris, , 1996
Bassman, Lillian ◊ Anneliese Seubert, Paris, , 1996

Bassman, Lillian ◊ Barbara Mullen, , 1958
Bassman, Lillian ◊ Barbara Mullen, , 1958

Bassman, Lillian ◊ Barbara Mullen, , 1950
Bassman, Lillian ◊ Barbara Mullen, , 1950

Bassman, Lillian ◊ Betty Threat, , 1957
Bassman, Lillian ◊ Betty Threat, , 1957

Bassman, Lillian ◊ Water 1
Bassman, Lillian ◊ Water 1

Bassman, Lillian ◊ A Report to Skeptics. , 1952
Bassman, Lillian ◊ A Report to Skeptics. , 1952

Bassman, Lillian ◊ By Night, Shining Wool and , 1954
Bassman, Lillian ◊ By Night, Shining Wool and , 1954

Bassman, Lillian ◊ Anneliese Seubert, , 1997
Bassman, Lillian ◊ Anneliese Seubert, , 1997

Bassman, Lillian ◊ Dior Hat on Barbara Mullen, , 1949
Bassman, Lillian ◊ Dior Hat on Barbara Mullen, , 1949

Biography


Lillian bassman was born in 1917 in Brooklyn , New York.
Her parents emigrated from Russia and soon joined a group of free thinking jewish intellectuals. She moved in with her husband Paul Himmel at age 15 and they have been married for over 70 years.

1933
Studied at the Textile Highshool in Manhattan. She poses as a model at the Art Students League for 50 Cents per hour.
1934
Becomes assistant painter at the WPA
1935
marries Paul Himmel
1939
works as freelance textile designer and visits evening classes at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn
1940
shows her fashion illustrations to Alexey Brodovitch, the Art Director at Harper’s Bazaar. He accepts her with a special scholarship to the New School, New York into the department graphic design
1941
Brodovitch hires Bassman as his assistant to Harper’s Bazaar
1945
She becomes Art Director for Junior Bazaar and gives projects to Richard Avedon, Robert Frank and Paul Himmel
1946
spends her lunch hours in George Hoyningen Huene’s dark room to develop her own work, experimenting with different print techniques to achieve her signature graphic soft look
1947
Richard avedon gives her his studio space. Lillian photographs her first lingerie collection and is awarded her first large commercial job. The Harper’s Bazaar Trio Carmel Snow, Diana Vreeland and Brodovitch award her the Art Direcor’s post at Harper’s Bazaar and it becomes the most successful magazine worldwide.
1948
She photographs her first own job for Junior Bazaar.
1949
Richard Avedon throws Lillian Bassman a huge party to celebrate her first jobs abroad.
She starts working with all the famous models of the time.
1951
Paul Himmel and Lillian Bassman open their first own studio. Their son Eric is born.
1953
Daughter Lizzie is born.
1962 - 65
She works less on commercial jobs and starts focusing on personal projects.
1974
She has her first major solo exhibition at Staempfli Gallery, New York showing large scale colour photographs of fruits and vegetables
1975 - 83
Starts experimenting with colour abstract photography
1984-88
She starts her own highly successful fashion label , selling only at Bloomingdales and Henri Bendel.
1985
David Bailey curates “Shots of Style”, where she is one of the selcted artists.
1992
Bassman’s neighbour Helen Frankenthaler finds rubbish bags in the back yard, containing mostly destroyed negatives and prints of Lillian Bassman’s early fashion work. The british curator Nartin Harrisson persuades her to have a look and reinterpret them.
1993
First solo exhibition at the Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
Group show at the Palais du Tokyo in Paris
1994
Solo Exhibition at Jane Jackso Gallery in Atlanta
Hommage a Lillian Bassman, Caroussel du Louvre, Paris
1996
She photographs the Haute Couture collection for New York Times Magazine, German Vogue and the Autumn Collection for Neiman Marcus, New York
Solo Exhibition in Milan, Italy
Dem Art Directors Club Award
Agfa Life Time Achievement Award
1997
Solo Exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York
Peter Fetterman Gallery, Los Angeles
2002
Group Exhibition at Prado Garden Madrid
2003
First exhibition with her husband Paul Himmel at Galerie f5.6 in Munich, Germany
2004
Staley Wise Gallery, New York



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