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Karl Bissinger, a portrait photographer who documented the artists, actors, and writers emerging as an American cultural force in the 1950s, died last Wednesday at age 94. The New York Times has this wonderful obit by William Grimes.
Bissinger shot for a number of magazines, perhaps most importantly Harper’s Bazaaar. He captured the likes of Truman Capote, Marlon Brando, Tennessee Williams, Saul Steinberg, and Katherine Hepburn, often shooting them in the garden of the Cafe Nicholson in Manhattan. His images were an assertive mix of journalism and portraiture, and were largely forgotten until the publication of an aptly titled monograph, “The Luminous Years” (Abrams, 2005). His shot above shows (from left) ballarina Tanaquil LeClercq, novelist Donald Windham, artist Buffie Johnson, Tennessee Williams, and Gore Vidal.–David Schonauer