Gelatin silver print, contact sheet
Paper: 25.4 x 20.3 cm (10 x 8 in.)
Gift from the Collection of Mark Schwartz + Bettina Katz 2020.56
© The Irving Penn Foundation
In 1938 Pearl S. Buck was the first American woman awarded the Nobel Prize for her biographies and depictions of peasant life in China.
One of Vogue’s top photographers, Irving Penn was known for his arresting portraits of celebrities. He would often expose up to 10 rolls of film, or 120 frames, to make a single portrait. They were first printed as contact sheets—pieces of photographic paper containing positive prints the same size as the negatives—so that the artist could select the ones to be enlarged. Occasionally, Penn would give the contact sheets as gifts once the final image was selected.
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