Master Photog Irving Penn Dead at 92


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NEW YORK — Irving Penn, the master photographer whose fashion images in Vogue magazine for more than six decades bridged the gap between commercial photography and fine art, died Wednesday morning at his home in New York City. He was 92.

Beginning in 1943, Penn had a long career with Vogue, where he revolutionized the way fashion was presented to a mass audience. He shot more than 150 covers, more than any other single photographer, and was consistently showcased in the magazine’s pages.

“In my career, I have met no one else who worked with the level of imaginative intensity and economy of Irving Penn,” said Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour. “His photographs were as exquisite and electrifying in the last year of his life as they were in 1943, when he started contributing to Vogue. To have been a colleague and friend of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century is a privilege greater than I could have ever imagined.”

Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn in Balenciaga 1950 by Irving PennKarl Lagerfeld told WWD his most treasured Penn print is a photo of his wife, Lisa Fonssagrives, in a look from the winter 1950 collection of Cristobal Balenciaga. “He was the kindest man on earth. His work was exquisite,” said Lagerfeld. “We used to spend hours chatting together. He used to speak about Paris in the Fifties.”

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