• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2252

    Icons of Glamour and Style: The Constantiner Collection

    16 - 17 December 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 97

    IRVING PENN (B. 1917)

    Twelve of the Most Photographed Models of the Period, 1947

    Price Realised  

    IRVING PENN (B. 1917)
    Twelve of the Most Photographed Models of the Period, 1947
    gelatin silver print
    signed, dated by the artist, partial inscription in an unknown hand in ink (on the mount); dated and inscribed 'Affectionate souvenir of our friends among these lovely ladies, and of pleasant evenings, for Dot Simpson, I.P., New York' in ink and 'Penn Condé Nast' copyright credit reproduction limitation stamps (on the reverse of the mount)
    13 x 15 7/8in. (33 x 40.3cm.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Provenance

    Private collection;
    Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg, New York, October 17, 2003, lot 55.


    Literature

    American Vogue, May 1 1947;
    Penn, Moments Preserved, Simon and Schuster, 1960, pp. 144-145;
    Hall-Duncan, The History of Fashion Photography, Alpine Book Company, 1979, pp. 148-149;
    Devlin, Vogue Book of Fashion Photography, Thames and Hudson, 1979, pp. 82-3;
    Szarkowski, Irving Penn, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1984, pl. 12;
    Penn, Passage: A Work Record, Jonathan Cape, 1991, p. 38;
    Fraser, On the Edge: Images from 100 Years of Vogue, Random House, 1992, pp. XII-XIII;
    Angeletti and Oliva, In Vogue: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine, Rizzoli, 2006, pp. 116-117.


    Post Lot Text

    The extended caption to this image in Moments Preserved explains: 'When American women think of clothes, beauties like the twelve shown here are responsible for the way they think, the way they want to look, and the dollars they spend. These are the models whose elegant bones and immaculate heads appeared most often in the fashion photographs of the decade 1937-1947 -- subtle symbols of the clothing business, the third largest industry in America. Their faces are known to millions; their talents to the few that work closely with them. Each of these girls, professional to the fingertips, has besides looks a developed sense of the source of light and how to appraise her position in that light. For this picture, the group was loosely composed and each model fell instinctively into a characteristic attitude. Out of the twenty-nine shots made in an atmosphere of polite jockeying, this one seemed the best.'

    The group comprises, left to right: Meg Mundy, Marilyn Ambrose, Helen Bennett, Dana Jenney, Betty McLauchlen (on ladder), Lisa Fonssagrives, Lily Carlson, Dorian Leigh (on floor), Andrea Johnson (seated), Elisabeth Gibbons, Muriel Maxwell (in black) and Kay Hernan.