For readers of the weekend style section of The New York Times Bill Cunningham (1929 – 2016) was a perennial favorite particularly appreciated for his weekly picture column On the Street, a sharp-eyed compendium of the fashion he encountered on the street.
Cunningham never thought of himself as a photographer preferring instead the title “fashion historian.” His oeuvre provides a 40-year history of fashion that is notable not only for the quantity of photographs but also for their aesthetic quality.
Gallery 98 has recently acquired a large selection of Details magazines, Cunningham’s main journalistic outlet from 1982 to 1990. Cunningham was part of the original Details team that started with the first issue in October 1982, and eventually came to dominate issues in the late 1980s with one-hundred-plus page spreads covering fashion shows in New York, London and Paris. The entire history of fashion in the 1980s is contained within the pages of Details. The magazines also document Cunningham’s rise to artistic maturity prior to his move to The New York Times as a full-time staff member in 1994.