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Irving Penn has always strived for the best presentation of his work he has become a master printer revitalizing the platinum-palladium process as well as working with new techniques The combination of innovative photography and meticulous printing has made Irving Penn one of the most significant photographers of the twentieth century Photographing a cake can be art Irving Penn said when he opened his studio in 1953 Before long he was backing up his statement with a series of advertising illustrations that created a new high standard in the field and established a reputation that has kept him in the top bracket ever since Penn has won renown as much in editorial photography as in advertising illustration and his innovations especially in portraits and still life have set him apart stylistically In later years he turned to television commercials as an outlet for his unique talent One of the most imitated among contemporary photographers his work has been widely recognized and applauded Irving Penn was born June 16 1917 in Plainfield NJ Educated in public he enrolled at the age of 18 in a four-year course at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art where Alexey Brodovitch taught him advertising design While training for a career as an art director Penn worked the last two summers from Harpers Bazaar as an office boy and apprentice artist sketching shoes At this time he had no thought of becoming a photographer Milestones In addition to his work for Vogue magazine the American British and French editions Penn has been represented in many important photographic collections including those of the Museum of Modem Art the Metropolitan Museum of Art the Addison Gallery of American Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art In 1958 Irving Penn was named one of The Worlds 10 Greatest Photographers in an international poll conducted by Popular Photography Magazine Penns statement at the time is a remarkable summation of purpose
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