Junior Harper’s Bazaar – Lillian Bassman

Junior Harper’s Bazaar was a spin off magazine of Harper’s Bazaar that was created in 1945 and ran for four years until 1984. Junior Harper’s Bazaar was intended for teenage girls who were interested in fashion. Lillian Bassman worked under Alexey Brodovitch at Harper’s Magazine in the 1940’s, where she was then offered the position of Art Director for Junior Harper’s Bazaar. This is where she let photographers such as Richard Avedon and Robert Frank showcase their work in photography, a decision which led her to explore the art of photography more herself. It was during her time as an art director that she found her niche in developing her own art style by experimenting in the darkroom with all of the methods she could try, including toning, bleaching, cutting, and more. She had close relationships with all of her models, some even top models at the time, especially her muse, Barbara Mullen. Bassman was said to be very kind and respectful of her models, even making the male photographers leave the room while they were being photographed. She wanted to know who the models were, and used those personalities to her advantage. She was once quoted saying, “I wanted to present women in the way I felt about them . . . Feminine, serene, and elegant. It’s a woman’s point of view about other women.” Unfortunately, Junior Harper’s Bazaar was short lived, however, she continued to work for Harper’s Bazaar until the late 60’s, when she left due to the era’s style not intriguing her, nor inspiring her to continue her work.

Sources

Cowles, Charlotte. “Legendary Fashion Photographer Lillian Bassman Died.” The Cut, The Cut, 14 Feb. 2012, www.thecut.com/2012/02/legendary-photographer-lillian-bassman-died.html.

“Lillian Bassman | Thierry Mugler Dress, German VOGUE (1998) | Available for Sale.” Artsy, www.artsy.net/artwork/lillian-bassman-thierry-mugler-dress-german-vogue.