18 May 2005
Charles Chaplin Leaving America, c.1952
gelatin silver print, printed 1970
signed and dated in ink on recto
10 7/8 x 13¾in. (27.7 x 34.9cm.)
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R. Avedon, Evidence: 1944-1994, New York, 1994, p.134; R. Avedon, An Autobiography, New York, 1993, pl.99.
'On the eve of Chaplin's departure from America in 1952 the comedian came to Avedon's studio to be photographed. Dogged by accusations of being a communist he was happy to be leaving the country. As he was about to press the shutter, Avedon asked Chaplin how he thought he would be remembered in America. Chaplin dipped his head and pulled back up with his fingers representing devil horns. The portrait was one of Avedon's favorites and had a special place in his home where it was encased in an outdoor frame in his garden looking into the house.' - J.D.
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