PENN, Irving. Moments Preserved. New York: Simon and Schuster, (1960).

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PENN, Irving.
Moments Preserved / Eight Essays in photographs and words…
New York: Simon and Schuster, (1960).

Folio (325 × 240 mm), pp.184. 38 colour and 262 black-and-white photographs, introduction by Alexander Liberman, captions written with the assistance of Rosemary Blackmon. Plain endpapers. Beige cloth-covered boards, spine lettered in black. Printed dust-jacket. Photo-illustrated laminated paper-covered board slipcase; soiling to front at edges, tear from bump to rear at spine. A fine copy in an excellent slipcase.

First edition. Moments Preserved provides an overview of Penn’s early career which began in earnest in 1943 when he was hired as assistant to Vogue art director Alexander Liberman. It was Liberman who sensed his talent as a photographer and encouraged him to pursue it as a career. Penn found that he could muster little enthusiasm for his ideas amongst Vogue’s distinguished roster of photographers, which at that time included Horst, Erwin Blumenfeld, Cecil Beaton and George Platt Lynes, so Liberman suggested he try making the photographs himself. This resulted in one of his photographs being used on the cover of Vogue’s October 1, 1943 issue, the first time a still-life had been used on the cover in the magazine’s history.

Sinibaldi, A. and Couturier, J-L., Regards sur un siècle de photographie à travers Le Livre (123); Roth A., The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century pp.158-9; Roth, A., The Open Book: A History of the Photographic Book from 1878 to the Present pp.186-7; Auer, M. and M., 802 photo books from the M + M Auer collection p.401.

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