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Irving Penn: Small Trades Hardcover – 19 Nov 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Getty Publications; 1 edition (19 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892369965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892369966
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 3.8 x 30.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 720,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"The book is a work of art in its own right; an object of beauty, and a Noah's ark for vanishing trades." "The Jewish Chronicle""

About the Author

Virginia Heckert & Anne Lacoste are associate and assistant curator, respectively, in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was very disappointed by this book, the quality of the printing is extremely bad, the dark parts of the images are large flat black areas with no detail at all.
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Format: Hardcover
Unlike the other reviewer here, I think the images in this book and are excellent reproductions of the originals. I was not disappointed at all, it is a captivating and truly fascinating book.
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Format: Hardcover
Marvellous book, absolutely wonderful images. No complaints about the reproductions or book quality. Spot on. No idea what previous reviewer is talking about. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Both thumbs UP!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8a35f624) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a16c174) out of 5 stars In Praise of the Common Man 1 Nov. 2009
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Irving Penn is an established giant in the field of photography having supplied the editors of Vogue Magazine with his elegant fashion photography for over fifty years. While many would question such a famous glamour photographer's interest in the beauty of the common man, in this excellent volume, a catalogue from the current J. Paul Getty Museum exhibition curated by Virginia A. Heckert and Anne Lacoste, evidence is presented and takes a memory trip back to the years 1950 and 1951 when Penn focused his considerable talent on photographing the people who do the daily jobs considered less than glamorous in the cities of New York, London and Paris.

Using the studio setting in much the way his fashion images were created, Penn uses for each of these portraits a textured wall that captures an array of light and shadow in subtle ways and in front of this backdrop he invited bakers, cleaners, maids, and craftsmen of all trades to pose, face forward, alone and in pairs, and gives these simple 'models' the same treatment of dramatic light and shadow eloquence that had made him famous. The results are an embarrassment of riches of capturing the most genteel vision of 'Small Trades' available in one collection. This is a book of beautiful art as well as an appreciation of the people who make our lives work smoothly. A fine reminder of Irving Penn's enormous talent. Grady Harp, November 09
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a16c1c8) out of 5 stars Early Work by a Great Master 11 Nov. 2009
By Preston S. Page - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I write this, Irving Penn recently passed, leaving me very sad that one of the world's greatest photographers ever will not be making new photographs. My first exposure to the "Small Trades" opus was via an early 1960s Photography Annual. I was blow away by the masterful photographs then; they looked completely un-like anthing else I'd seen then and they continue to have an arrested in time quality now.
Published to document the inception of the "Small Trades" collection by the Getty, this book is a must have for photo buffs and for me recaptures the magic of the first time experience, and then some. Among other fascinating nuances, book shows several spreads of early silver prints beside later platinum-palladium refinements; I think close study shows Penn's devotion to and perfection of minimalism. The quality of reproduction here is really excellent.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a2f2fc0) out of 5 stars Irving Penn: Small Trades 11 Nov. 2009
By Ayral Philippe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful work - Very well printed and binded - It's very interesting to see that piece of work made in a very simple way, only with available natural light and to compare gelatin silver prints with platinum ones.
One of the most interesting Penn work.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a6e6294) out of 5 stars One of my most valued books.... 23 Oct. 2009
By Akos Szilvasi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
...even though I only received it this afternoon. Penn extracts the small-trade practitioners from their environment into a stark but not sterile studio with no reference to their lives except uniforms and tools of their trade. The photos are full length, very contrasty (I am not sure it was a stylistic or technical reason - I found them unpleasantly high in contrast). The lighting is a classic natural light studio (I wish I had access to one here in the Boston area). Penn depicts the subjects in a dignified, respectful way and you feel a close relationship between the photographer and subject; closer than Avedon's American West images or August Sander's even more emotionless characters (*), for instance. Penn also selected an ideal camera angle, which produces subtly flattering images. The subjects, though rarely smiling, have a warm expression. They obviously feel welcome to the photo session.

Several years ago I saw a photograph of a young couple (appeared to be cooks because the man holds a cooking pan in his hand) in a setting very similar to Penn's. It was on the wall in our favorite pasta shop. The shop owner could not tell me where the photo came from nor who took it. The image stayed with me for years and now I think it may be one of Irvin Penn's small trade people series (though not in the book).

You must own this collection if you like long lasting photographs of people.

(*) from a very different period and culture.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a2f5108) out of 5 stars Simply Gorgeous!! 5 April 2011
By papaya1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Who knew that such luscious photographs could be taken of the working people in and around the 1940s? Irving Penn is a master and this book captures the incredible depth of the blacks and whites of the images. It' even possible to see the difference in the two printing processes. I treasure this book. As with others I've ordered through Amazon it came beautifully packaged and in a timely manner. Thanks!!
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