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Irving Penn
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Photographer
    (June 16, 1917-October 7, 2009)
    Born in Plainfield, New Jersey
    Known for his fashion photography and portraits
    Photographed 158 covers for 'Vogue' (1943-2004)
    Married model Lisa Fonssagrives (1950-92)
    Brother of director Arthur Penn
    He started out as a painter; he scraped the paint off his early canvases to use them as backdrops for his photos.
    He said that when he started at 'Vogue,' 'I didn't know Balenciaga from a baseball player.'
    He was a perfectionist, who for an illustration of a lemon, examined 500 lemons before choosing one, then photographed it over a hundred times before he was satisfied.
    He was an ambulance driver in Italy and India during World War II.
    He was the photographer with the longest tenure at publisher Conde Nast -- over sixty years.
    To produce the velvety tones of his photos, he taught himself a turn-of-the-20th-century development process that used platinum instead of conventional silver.

Credit: C. Fishel


 
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