We are sad to let you know that APAG member William “Bill” Helburn recently passed away. Thanks to Bob and Lois Lilly for sharing this information and for all their work preserving his archive. Sending condolences to them, the Helburn family and especially his son William Helburn who was an early member of APAG.
Fashion and advertising photographer William ”Bill” Helburn has died at age 96. A contemporary of Richard Avedon, Lillian Bassman and Irving Penn, Helburn created playful, sexy images that jumped off the page, often juxtaposing the sublime with the absurd. “Shock value was a term that was used,” said Helburn “And I meant to shock people as much as I could.” A “first-call” photographer at the heart of advertising’s creative revolution, Helburn brought a fashion sensibility to everything he caught in his lens. From 1949 to the early 70s, his work was seen in Harper’s Bazaar, LIFE, McCall’s, Esquire, The New Yorker and many other magazines. His work and life story are featured in the book “Seventh and Madison William Helburn” (2014) and his images in galleries including Staley-Wise in New York, Peter Fetterman Gallery in Santa Monica, Robert Klein Gallery in Boston and Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta.