The photographer Richard Avedon and the writer Doon Arbus began collaborating on this book thirty years ago. The photographs and interviews they did then remain faithful to what was, like the contents of a time capsule.
Meeting somebody and balling them means something, but it doesn't mean near as much as it used to. --Janis Joplin, September 1969
In a society where there is institutionalized oppression, the thing is to catch government and business in the grass--actually humping. --Florynce Kennedy, August 1969
I was so afraid of being bad and being caught at it. --Dr. Benjamin Spock, September 1969
The connection between all the rhetoric and all the poetry, between the words of a Black Panther and those of a rock star or a pacifist, between the scars of a pop artist and those of a napalm victim, have haunted and informed the structuring of this book, with its own peculiar version of a beginning, a middle, and an end.
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The Sixties is the product of a 30-year collaboration between photographer Richard Avedon and writer Doon Arbus, whose images and words combine in this volume to create a compelling portrait of one of the 20th century's most tumultuous decades. Avedon, the celebrated photographer whose portraits of some of the best-known personalities of our age have graced the pages of Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, and The New Yorker magazines since the early 1950s, was prolific during the '60s. Looked at together, his images from those years create a visual time capsule. This large book is filled with a cacophony of Yippies, Black Panthers, Weathermen, Hare Krishnas, Andy Warhol Factory Superstars, pop artists, rock musicians, astronauts, pacifists, politicians, electroshock therapists, media correspondents, civil rights lawyers, antiwar activists, and more--all shot against his signature white background. Arbus, a novelist and writer for magazines including Rolling Stone and The Nation (and the daughter of photographer Diane Arbus), conducted interviews with many of the subjects. Snippets of those conversations provide an intimate and unforgettable document of the tension, vulnerability, anger, recklessness, hope, and empowerment many people experienced during that era. Brief biographies of the portrait sitters, as well as a chronology that spans the first signs of the war in Vietnam in 1960 to its final conclusion in 1973, provide excellent context for the images. The Sixties is riveting. --A.C. SmithAbout the Author :
RICHARD AVEDON (b. 1923) was the editor, with his classmate James Baldwin, of The Magpie, the literary magazine at De Witt Clinton High School in the Bronx. In 1942 he joined the photography department of the U.S. merchant marine. He was a staff photographer at I>Harper's Bazaar (1951-1965) and Vogue (1966-1988), and he collaborated with James Baldwin on Nothing Personal (1964), a book about the civil rights movement. In 1992 he became the first staff photographer at The New Yorker.
DOON ARBUS (b. 1945) is the author of Alice in Wonderland: The Forming of a Company, the Making of a Play, and has written for a number of magazines, including Rolling Stone and The Nation. Her thirty-year collaboration with Richard Avedon began with the project that has become this book. She is completing her Unfinished Novel.
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