Daily Archives: August 12, 2011

Photography: Irving Penn

Truman Capote - 1965

Irving Penn (June 16, 1917 – October 7, 2009)

Irving Penn’s images have defined several generations of fashion and portrait photography. Penn, who was born in 1917 in New Jersey, worked in New York as a graphic artist in the 1930s, and spent a year painting in Mexico before starting work at Vogue magazine in the early 1940s. He open his own studio in 1953 . All his work is extremely clean, technically perfect, simple and focused. Much of his fashion and celebrity work was shot agaisnt stark, plain studio backgrounds which was unheard of for the time and is now considered as the introduction to the modern age of photography. Penn spent the 60’s and 70’s photographing ‘primitive cultures’ traveling with a canvas tent as a studio. Penn returned to New York and worked well into his 80’s, dpassing away at the age of 92 in his Manhattan home.

Duke Ellington - 1971

Miles Davis

The Angel - 1946

Dorian Leigh & Maurice "The Angel" Tillet - 1945

Pablo Picasso - 1957