Museum Council Steering Committee
Friday, January 8, 2016

“Hiro: Photographs”
December 12, 2015 to August 14, 2016

As of Saturday, December 12, the MFA is the first major museum in the US to present a solo exhibition of the works of fashion photographer Hiro.

“Hiro: Photographs” features 24 images spanning from the ‘60s through the ‘90s. In addition to fashion, the exhibit includes Yasuhiro Wakabayashi’s portraiture and still lives. Having met Hiro several times over the years, the MFA’s Anne Havinga, Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Senior Curator of Photographs, spent many afternoons with the photographer in his New York studio planning the exhibition.

Raised in China, where he was born to Japanese parents, Hiro spent the post-World War II years in Japan before relocating to the US in 1954. Early on in his career he worked as an assistant to Richard Avedon, who introduced him to Harper’s Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch. Once on his own, Hiro established a reputation for his bold use of light and color, and an elegant sense of surrealism. The exhibition will zero in on how Hiro applied his style to the work of such designers as Halston, Pierre Cardin, Harry Winston, and Elsa Peretti.

The MFA is the start of a trifecta for Hiro, whose work will be spotlighted at a Pace/MacGill exhibition that opens February 25.

The MFA’s exhibition is paired with an exhibition of the work of illustrator Kenneth Paul Block.  A W Magazine alum, Block was known for melding illustration and portraiture. His society portraits of Jacqueline Kennedy, Gloria Guinness, and Babe Paley personified a certain sense of sophistication. “Kenneth Block: Illustrations” will feature black-and-white charcoal drawings, as well as later works in watercolors and colored pencils, highlighting his career from the ‘50s into the ‘90s. Both exhibitions run through August 14.

Above: Hiro, Black Evening Dress in Flight, New York, 1963. © Hiro