In the 1970s, she became increasingly disillusioned with the fashion photography industry and famously destroyed 40 years worth of negatives and prints, instead turning to more artistic works. Though fortunately more than 20 years later, some remaining photos were discovered which rekindled her interest in the field. She continued to work until her death, even embracing digital photography and editing. As she told WWD, “Everybody’s fascinated with the idea of someone who is productive at my age. But I don’t know where or how or who I would be if I weren’t working. Plus, I’m convinced I’m really 25."
Here, W takes a peek into her epic career.
Lillian Bassman, It's a Cinch: Carmen, New York. Harper's Bazaar, 1951.
Lillian Bassman, Night Bloom: Anneliese Seubert in Givenchy Haute Couture by John Galliano, Paris. The New York Times Magazine, 1996.
Lillian Bassman, Barbara Mullen, New York. Harper's Bazaar, circa 1958.
Lillian Bassman, More Fashion Mileage Per Dress: Barbara Vaughn in a dress by Filcol, New York. Harper's Bazaar, 1956.