Irving Penn



Irving Penn




1917born in Plainfield, New Jersey

1934 - 1938Attends the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. Studies design with Alexey Brodovitch, art director at Harper's Bazaar, and works as his assistant

1938Penn buys his first camera, a Rolleiflex, with earnings from drawings published in the magazine

1938 - 1941Works in New York as an art director at Junior League magazine and at Saks Fifth Avenue

1941 - 1942Travels through the American South to Mexico to spend a year painting

1943Hired at Vogue by art director Alexander Liberman. He encourages Penn to take his first color photograph, a still life, which becomes the October 1 cover. Penn considered this his beginning as a professional photographer

1944 - 1945Volunteers with the American Field Service

1946 - 1947Back at Vogue, undertakes extensive portrait series of cultural figures

1948Travels to France, Italy, Spain, and Peru for Vogue.
After completing fashion editorial in Lima, prolongs stay to make portraits of local people in a daylight studio in Cuzco

1949 - 1950Photographs a series of nudes which he prints using an experimental process of bleaching and redeveloping

1950Striking fashion photographs by Penn appear in Vogue. Many of these feature the Swedish model, Lisa Fonssagrives
She and Penn marry in London, shortly after the Paris couture collections

1950 - 1951For Small Trades series in Paris, London, and New York, photographs workers with their tools and wares in the studio

1952Begins advertising in addition to editorial work. Moves studio to 80 West 40th Street

1960Publishes his first book, Moments Preserved.
First commercial exhibition of his work at Alexander Iolas Gallery

1965Constructs laboratory in barn on Long Island, NY property

1967Constructs a portable tent studio for travels

1986Begins collaboration with designer Issey Miyake

2009died in New York


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