Irving Penn took the above photo of model Evelyn Tripp sixty years ago, in 1949. Penn’s photo below appeared in photographer Clayton Cubitt’s blog earlier this year with the caption “Irving Penn is 91 years old and he still kicks your ass.”
Many informative Irving Penn obituaries have popped up on the web over the past few hours – my favorite is this piece by the New York Times. There were many things I didn’t know about him! I was delighted to learn that, like me, he had the whole Jersey-Philly thing going on. His brother Arthur was the director of the film Bonnie and Clyde. Before falling into photography, he wanted to travel to Mexico with the hopes of forging a career as a painter. He joined the army, and worked as an ambulance driver.
Irving Penn lived an active, creative life, producing new work right up until his death. Let Penn’s legacy inspire us all, for this is the way that life should be lived. It doesn’t matter if you’re 70, 80 or 90: stay curious about the world, never give up your vision, and always continue to strive to do your best.
More inspiring images by Penn taken at various points in the past 60 years, after the jump.
See also: The Decline of Fashion Photography
Protractor Face – date unkown
Woman in Moroccan palace (Penn’s wife & muse Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), 1951
Sometime in the 90s; YSL
Jean Patchett, 1949
For Vogue, 1951