Charles Chaplin, Actor
On View In:

Artist:   Richard Avedon
Richard Avedon  
Title:   Charles Chaplin, Actor  
Date:   1952  
Medium:   Gelatin silver print (printed 1970)  
Dimensions:   17 9/16 x 23 15/16 in. (44.61 x 60.8 cm) (image) 19 15/16 x 23 15/16 in. (50.64 x 60.8 cm) (sheet)  
Credit Line:   The Christina N. and Swan J. Turnblad Memorial Fund  
Location:   Gallery Not on view  

Known for his character, "The Little Tramp," English-born Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin (1889-1977) was a founder of United Artists Corporation and an international star. He left the United States the year this portrait was made and did not return for twenty years, when he accepted a special Academy Award. This image is from a group of eleven prints in the "Minneapolis Portfolio," which Avedon produced in 1970 on the occasion of his exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The show included photographs of Marilyn Monroe and Dwight D. Eisenhower, among others. Avedon said about this work, "I want to make portraits as intense as people. I want your intensity to pass into me, go through the camera and become a recognition to a stranger." Unlike the sharp focus maintained by August Sander, Avedon chose to use a blurred image for Chaplin's portrait. Chaplin's grin may be seen as a devilish reference to his self-imposed horns, a clever reflection of the American media's disapproval of his bohemian lifestyle. Notice how neutral backgrounds and even lighting allows Avedon's portraits of Chaplin and Buster Keaton to pop.

Name:   Avedon, Richard  
Role:   Publisher  
Nationality:   American  
Life Dates:   American, 1923-2004  
Name:   Avedon, Richard  
Role:   Photographer  
Nationality:   American  
Life Dates:   American, 1923-2004  

Object Description  
Classification:   Photographs  
Creation Place:   North America, United States, , ,  
Edition:   Edition of 35; 1/35  
Accession #:   81.94.1  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts