Theo by Richard Avedon

01/02 - 01/03/2009
Musei Capitolini,
Palazzo Nuovo - Sale terrene

Alta Roma, the city's fashion season, pays tribute to Richard Avedon through the quite extraordinary collection of mementoes belonging to American model, Ann Theopane Graham, known as Theo.
A collection of photographs, letters, signed test shots and contact sheets that constitute and important record of the early days of this well-known photographer.

The Alta Roma tribute to photographer Richard Avedon comes in the shape of a never-before-seen exhibition entitled ” Theo by Richard Avedon ”, made possible through the amazing discovery of a trunk full of photographs that belonged to the American model, Ann Theophane Graham, better known as Theo. Loaned for the occasion by the model's son, architect Enrico Carlo Saraceni, the exhibition will be mounted in two different locations: the Capitoline Museums and the French Academy in Rome at the Villa Medici.
Rome is one of only two cities in the world – the other being Paris – in which the collections of top fashion designers are shown twice each year. Two cities that are the international expression of the very best craftsmanship, quality and tailoring.
The extraordinary exhibitions, that link the Capitoline Museums and the French Academy for the first time ever, showcase the desire to renew the ties between these two European capitals whose style and elegance mean that they are acclaimed the world over to be icons of sophisticated luxury. This retrospective recreates Avedon's early days when, as a young man not much older than 20, he worked with “Harper's Bazaar”, at that time edited by Carmel Snow, and models Ann Theophane Graham and Dorian Leigh who starred in many of his photo shoots featuring the Haute Couture collections of the day on location in Paris and the beaches of the Bahamas.
The photographs provide an overview of Paris fashion at the time, but the new look launched by Christian Dior immediately after the second World War is highlighted in particular. It was in fact, the Harper's Bazaar feature on Christian Dior's monumental dress – Junon – that marked be beginning of Theo's success and celebrity.
The photographic exhibition is further enriched by the letters exchanged by Avedon and Theo, by items of clothing as well as Avedon's photo-shoots show-casing clothes designed by the most famous post-war designers – including Christian Dior, Jacques Fath, Pierre Balmain and Cristòbal Balenciaga – that appeared in both “Harper’s Bazaar” and “Junior Bazaar”.
“Theo by Richard Avedon” is a worthy reflection of the defining years of the photographer's artistic career. The exhibition recreates the story featuring the up-and-coming Richard Avedon, the unconventional and brilliant Editor-in-Chief of Harper's Bazaar, Carmel Snow, visionary graphic artist Alexey Brodovitch and Theo's best friend, Dorian Leigh and of course, their relationship with one of the greatest designers of all times, Christian Dior.
Extensive and detailed research by art gallery owner, Valentina Moncada documents this retrospective and will be published in a book that will also include items safeguarded by Theo Graham over the years: photographs, letters and signed test shots and contact sheets.
It is an exhibition that provides further proof of the commitment made by “Alta Roma” to promote fashion culture as a whole.


Musei Capitolini
, Palazzo Nuovo - Sale terrene
Opening hours

11.00am - 18.00pm, escluso lunedì

Entrance ticket



060608 (every day 9.00am - 10.30pm)

Booking compulsory:
Richard Avedon
Valentina Moncada

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