Lillian Bassman


Lillian Bassman was a fashion photographer who primarily created black and white images using unique special effects through manipulation in the dark room which were groundbreaking for her time.

Bassman famously transformed her fashion photography into high-contrast, dream-link portraits through blurring and bleaching her images and at the same time offering a strong contrast between her subjects and the clothes that they wore.

Her work appeared in Harper’s Bazaar from the 1940s to the 1960s and were disctinctive and celebrated for their elegance and grace.

In the 1970’s Bassman changed direction in response to the changing tastes of the time. She adapted her skills and again began to pioneer a new method of digital photography and photo manipulation in order to enhance her work. The distinctive graininess of her pictures became iconic and defined her work going forward.

Her work has been displayed in prominent galleries such as the Stämpfli Gallery in New York, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and the Garden Prado in Madrid. Her final exhibition was entitled Retrospective, and was held at London's The Wapping Project in 2010. Bassman passed away in 2012.