How Richard Avedon Shaped the America in Your Head

Book Review. The compilers of the book make a case for female empowerment in these images, which only halfway holds up. Yes, the Versace woman commands the shirtless Versace man. Yes, it’s noticeable that African-American women like Leontyne Price and Lena Horne appear in Avedon’s mass-market ads in an era when they were rarely featured outside Ebony or Jet. But it’s impossible not to see that the image of womanhood on view in these pages is somewhat constrained, especially in the earlier decades.