Yesterday, while visiting the Charlotte Moss Townhouse, I noticed some Lillian Bassman framed pictures. This five-story building at 20 East 63rd in Manhattan houses the retail location of interior designer Charlotte Moss. One of the framed Bassman prints really jumped out because of its five figure price tag. I initially heard of Lillian last year, through my boyfriend whose father works with Lillian’s agent. Upon looking into her work, it is hard for anyone not to become an admirer.
I read a great bio on the Staley-Wise Gallery website where I also saw some of her greatest works. Lillian began her career at Harper’s Bazaar as art director of Junior Bazaar and a postwar photographer. Her photos were noticeably different from photos that men took. Bassman focused more on the model’s upper body, especially their arms and long necks. She retired from fashion photography in the early 1970s. In the early 1990s, she manipulated negatives of photos from her early career in the darkroom and created a style all of her own. The photos now hold not only their original classic fashion, but also a new sensual feel.