The iconic fashion and portrait photographer — most notably for Vogue — died this morning at his home in Manhattan. His death was announced by Peter MacGill, his friend and representative, says the New York Times. Penn's images of tradespeople are currently on exhibit at the Getty Museum. Native Intelligence contributor Judy Graeme wrote last week about Penn's show and his influence on her as a photographer and in her life. From the NYT obituary:
Mr. Penn’s talent for picturing his subjects with compositional clarity and economy earned him the widespread admiration of readers of Vogue during his long association with the magazine, beginning in 1943. It also brought him recognition in the art world; his photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries and are prized by collectors.
His long career at Vogue spanned a number of radical transformations in fashion and its depiction, but his style remained remarkably constant. Imbued with calm and decorum, his photographs often seemed intent on defying fashion. His models and portrait subjects were never seen leaping or running or turning themselves into blurs. Even the rough-and-ready members of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang, photographed in San Francisco in 1967, were transformed within the quieting frame of his studio camera into the graphic equivalent of a Greek frieze.
Penn's younger brother is Arthur Penn, the director of "Bonnie and Clyde."