Frederick Eberstadt, Photographer of Socialites and Artists, Dies at 97

Yoshiko Yap

Frederick Eberstadt, a fashion and culture photographer whose varied perform encompassed the parlors of Park Avenue as effectively as the gritty efficiency areas of downtown Manhattan in the course of New York’s avant-garde period of the 1960s, died on July 29 at his apartment in Manhattan. He was 97.

His death was verified by his son, the political economist Nicholas Eberstadt.

Mr. Eberstadt had begun on a job in banking, next in the footsteps of his father, Ferdinand Eberstadt, a lion of Wall Road who launched the investment decision lender Eberstadt & Business and pioneered the improvement of mutual resources.

But the younger Mr. Eberstadt still left for a stint in tv and then acquired a likelihood prospect to function as an assistant to the photographer Richard Avedon that led him into a 30-yr occupation at the rear of the lens.

As a trend photographer and photojournalist, he shot for Vogue, Women’s Have on Day-to-day, Town & Country, The New York Herald Tribune and numerous other publications. His subjects ran the spectrum, culturally, from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, many years just after the previous King Edward VIII of England abdicated the English throne, to the actors Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in their “Easy Rider” period as haute hippie Hollywood terrible boys.

From his perch substantial in the Manhattan social firmament, he invited viewers into the skinny air of Manhattan’s money tradition. The journalist Barbara Goldsmith once named his modern society images “velvet and supersleek.”

But he also ventured downtown to mingle with Andy Warhol and chronicle the city’s explosive underground movie and theater scene. In 1965, he merged the underground with the mainstream in a manner unfold for Existence magazine starring Edie Sedgwick, the star-crossed starlet and Warhol muse, showcasing her fragile elegance in the hottest mod fashions and dripping in jewels.

“In the early ‘60s, the cultural scene in New York was divided in between two disconnected worlds,” Jerome Hiler, an experimental filmmaker and Mr. Eberstadt’s previous assistant, explained in an e-mail. “The uptown cultural environment was as distant as could be from the extra revolutionary art, movie and theater entire world below 14th Road. Fred was among the the several who drew interest to the downtown scene.”

He introduced an insider’s viewpoint to whichever environment he was shooting. In 1962, Mr. Eberstadt served as the two photographer and matter for a distribute in Vogue titled “The Logistics of A person Excellent Party.”

The short article examined the exhaustive prep perform with interior decorators, caterers and hairstylists that went into lavish parties that he and his spouse, Isabel, a daughter of the poet Ogden Nash, threw at their 12-area apartment at 791 Park Avenue, at which uptown elites nibbled on cold salmon in sauce verte in advance of shimmying to the sunny sounds of a Haitian steel band.

“I often assumed of Freddie Eberstadt as a person of New York’s greats — an individualist, iconoclast, wit and scholar,” Bob Colacello, the writer and a previous editor of Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, said by e mail. “He and Isabel stood out among their Park Avenue social set. They have been hipper, cooler, much more open up minded, curious and adventurous. Eternally young.”

Frederick Eberstadt was born on July 24, 1926, in Huntington, N.Y., on Long Island. He was a single of four young children of Ferdinand Eberstadt and Mary Van Arsdale (Tongue) Eberstadt, a philanthropist.

His father, who held prominent posts with the federal federal government in excess of the several years, which includes chairman of the Military-Navy Munitions Board during Environment War II, forged a long shadow. He was “a man whose way is pleasantly abrasive, like a rough towel immediately after a chilly shower,” his 1969 obituary in The New York Periods noted.

The young Mr. Eberstadt invested his early a long time in Paris, wherever his father was serving as a partner for the expenditure bank Dillon, Read & Firm, in advance of returning to New York, wherever he lived with his household on Fifth Avenue — and later on, the storied River Household on East 52nd Street.

At 14, he was expelled from the Millbrook School for smoking cigarettes he eventually completed prep university at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Following a quick tenure in the Navy around the close of Earth War II — the war ended before he could be sent to battle — he attended Princeton University, but he dropped out to travel the world.

On returning, he served a transient stint at his father’s expenditure financial institution. Buying and selling, he explained in a 2021 profile printed on the website Medium, “gave me colitis.”

In the mid-1950s, Mr. Eberstadt worked for NBC, wherever he obtained to know Hollywood figures like Gena Rowlands and Dominick Dunne, the producer and future greatest-offering writer of Hollywood crime textbooks. That operate came to an close soon after a probability conversation with Mr. Avedon at a bash hosted by the writer Harold Brodkey, when he blurted out that he would be delighted to get the job done as the famed photographer’s assistant if he ever needed one.

“I guess I’d experienced a handful of beverages,” Mr. Eberstadt said in the Medium interview. “It was one particular of individuals points one particular may well say but that had no particular which means. I paid, and I was confident he compensated, no notice to it.” But Mr. Avedon did. Right before extensive, Mr. Eberstadt was on his way.

His father was ambivalent at most effective about his new class. As Mr. Eberstadt recalled in Medium, when Princess Margaret shocked the British institution by marrying a commoner, the photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, in 1960, Ferdinand Eberstadt mentioned, “That brings your social situation above that of a bootblack.”

Undeterred, Mr. Eberstadt recognized himself as man about city. By the 1980s, he was producing articles or blog posts for Vogue on type and manners and speaking about his possess eclectic fashion instincts.

In a 1986 interview with The New York Periods Magazine, he described balancing lavender shirts and checkerboard-pattern socks with minimal-finances staples. But, he additional: “I normally wear Army-Navy retail store cords with tweeds and blazers. Pay top selling price for best excellent, but when it’s all the identical, be stingy.”

In addition to his son, Mr. Eberstadt, whose main residence in his afterwards a long time was Important West, Fla., is survived by his daughter, the author Fernanda Eberstadt 6 grandchildren and a person great-grandchild. His wife died in 2006 just after 52 yrs of relationship.

In the late 1980s, Mr. Eberstadt’s pictures assignments ended up drying up. He wrote a novel, which no publishers picked up. He slipped into melancholy, which had afflicted him considering the fact that his youth.

“I just collapsed,” he instructed Medium. “I felt like a overall failure, unquestionably hopeless.”

He ultimately pulled out of his melancholy, many thanks to treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy. Influenced by his restoration, he resolved to go into practice himself, finishing his undergraduate function at New York University prior to obtaining a master’s of social operate degree from Columbia College in his mid-60s, starting up a new occupation as cognitive therapist as his Social Security checks began to arrive.

He would continue on to see individuals into his 90s.

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