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Irving Penn's Photographs of the Working Class at the Getty

Posted By Administration, Saturday, September 19, 2009
Updated: Friday, December 27, 2013

A 1950 photograph by Irving Penn shows a London seamstress with the tools of her trade — thread, pins, tape measure, fabric — her right hand casually tucked inside one pocket, her other shrouded inside a partially sewn sleeve.


The picture is distinctive partly for the figure's setting, a kind of atmospheric visual "nowhere" that Penn was instrumental in popularizing as a staple of fashion photography.

The Getty exhibition, "Irving Penn: Small Trades," is filled with black-and-white photographs like this, one of 252 in a set Penn assembled. The Getty acquired the set last year, and it's having its debut in the show.

Read the complete review in The Los Angeles Times.

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