There’s a fabulous exhibit of Irving Penn’s portrait photography of workers with the tools of their trade in the The Small Trades exhibit at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles though January 10, 2010.
Initially created in 1950 and 1951 in London, New York, and Paris, The Small Trades photography exhibition consists of 252 portrait photographs of trades people in their work clothes and carrying the tools of their respective trades. The Small Trades was Penn’s most extensive body of work, involving 215 subjects from three cities, and he returned to it over many decades, producing ever more exacting prints. The exhibit spotlights the evolution of Penn’s printing techniques by pairing his earlier silver and later platinum prints.
The experience of the show was made even better when I ran into one of my favorite photographers, legendary jazz photographer Herman Leonard, checking out the show.
If you can’t make it to LA, don’t miss the accompanying photography book,Irving Penn: Small Trades