Photographer Richard Avedon discusses his work during the 2002 New Yorker Magazine Festival. Photographer Richard Avedon discusses his work during the 2002 New Yorker Magazine Festival. Photographer Richard Avedon discusses his work during the 2002 New Yorker Magazine Festival. (Photo: Keith Bedford / Getty Images)

Richard Avedon's portraits on display in Israel Museum

Legendary photographer's murals of Allen Ginsburg and others were a gift from New York donors.

Richard Avedon is one of the few American photographers to have become a household name over the past century. His fashion and portrait photos are arguably some of the greatest ever captured on film, and they all have an immediately recognizable look.

Avedon died in 2004, but his work lives on in books, museums and the homes of collectors. Now, thanks to the dedication of a man named Leonard A. Lauder, a gift of 74 of the photographer's images has been made to the Israel Museum of Jerusalem.

The Israel MuseumThe Israel Museum at sunset. (Photo: Israel Museum)

According to The New York Times, Lauder, a New York philanthropist and former chairman of the board at the Whitney Museum of American Art, was so taken with Avedon's murals of legendary poet Allen Ginsberg and his family when he saw them last year at a gallery show, he immediately began trying to get the important photos into the Israel Museum. At the time, the museum owned an extensive photography collection, but none of Avedon's work.

Lauder reached out to Larry Gagosian - the founder of the Gagosian Gallery, where the philanthropist saw the mural last year - as well as the Avedon Foundation, and he succeeded in convincing them to give a staggering 74 images to the Israel Museum.

Now, armed with one of the finest Avedon collections in the world, the museum is featuring an exhibition called Richard Avedon: Family Affairs. Curated by Noam Gal and located in the Spertus Gallery, the exhibition not only features the massive wall-mounted photograph of Ginsberg's family that made such an indelible impression on Lauder, but also includes a series of portraiture titled The Family. Here, art lovers can see nearly 70 portraits of important American personalities during the 1976 U.S. presidential elections that were originally published in Rolling Stone magazine.

The exhibition opened earlier this year and runs until July 19.

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Richard Avedon's portraits on display in Israel Museum
Photographer Richard Avedon is the subject of an exhibition at the Israel Museum that includes 74 of the legend's photographs.