Irving Penn was born in Plainfied, New Jersey and later attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art, where he studied until 1938. Prior to the development of his career in photography, Harper’s Bazaar published his drawings.
Following World War II he became known for his chic portraits, often for Vogue Magazine. Penn’s studio was austere and he was known for shooting very effectively against plain white or grey background, sometimes angled to create stark corners. Penn photographed a wide range of iconic subjects against this type of backdrop, including famous actors, musicians and filmmakers. Penn also published several books between 1960 and 2004. He passed away at his New York home in 2009.