Irving Penn: Born June 16, 1917


CapoteThe photographer Irving Penn put Marcel Duchamp in a corner, exposed Colette’s forehead and swaddled Rudolf Nureyev’s lithe body in layers of winter clothing. His subjects, who included many of the greatest creative talents of the 20th century, emerged from their portrait sessions with their carefully shaped personas profoundly shaken. Mr. Penn died on Oct. 7, 2009; he was 92.Fashion1
As one of the 20th century’s most prolific and influential photographers of fashion and the famous, Mr. Penn’s signature blend of classical elegance and cool minimalism was recognizable to magazine readers and museumgoers worldwide.

Vogue: Irving Penn~

Fashion2Art Institute of Chicago: Irving Penn Archives~

Time Magazine: Appreciation –The Photos of Irving Penn~,29307,1929105,00.html

Margaret Bourke-White: Born June 14, 1904


standardoflvngMargaret Bourke-White was a pioneering photojournalist whose insightful pictures of 1930s Russia, German industry, and the impact of the Depression and drought in the American midwest established her reputation…In 1927 she graduated from Cornell University with a degree in biology, but she spent most of her time establishing herself as a professional photographer. Bourke-White opened her first studio in her apartment in Cleveland, Ohio.

campAs an artist, Bourke-White continued to use photography as an instrument to examine social issues from a humanitarian perspective. She witnessed and documented some of the 20th century’s most notable moments, including the liberation of German concentration camps by General Patton in 1945, the release of Mahatma Gandhi from prison in 1946, and the effects of South African labor exploitation in the 1950s. Her career was cut short in 1966 due to Parkinson’s disease, and she died in 1971.

International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum~

LIFELIFE’s First-Ever Cover Story~

Shorpy Archives~

Artist Birthday Quiz for 6/13~

He considered photography his hobby, but this French photographer and painter is known for his photos of automobile races, planes and Parisian models.

This Swiss-German painter and printmaker was one of the most prolific and skilled creator of woodcut illustrations in the 16th century.

Answers here~

Artist Birthday Quiz for 6/12~

What Austrian Expressionist is known for his erotic paintings, anguished self-portraits, and a life marked by scandal, notoriety, & an early death by influenza three days after the death of his pregnant wife?

What Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and combat photographer of 13 wars produced his best-known photograph while covering the Vietnam War for the Associated Press?

Answers here~

Julia Margaret Cameron~ Born June 11, 1815

Detail: Painting of Julia Margaret Cameron by George Frederic Watts

Julia Margaret Pattle was born in British India, on June 11, 1815, the daughter of an official in the Bengal Civil Service and a descendant of the French aristocracy. After her early years she received an education in France and England, returning to India in 1834. Four years later, in 1838, she married Charles Hay Cameron, twenty years her senior. In 1848, after Charles retired, he and Julia returned to England where they raised five children, adding a sixth in 1857 when they adopted Mary Ryan. Through Julia’s sister, Sarah Prinsep, the new arrivals cultivated a wide circle of elite, intellectual friends. It is this company of friends, family, and servants that Cameron used as models for her “tableux vivants”.

Cameron’s practice of photography began relatively late in her life, at age forty-eight, when her daughter gave her a sliding wooden box camera. Her “very first success in photography” came in January 1864, with a portrait of Annie, daughter of a neighbor.
Cameron used the wet collodion process, making prints with albumen printing-out paper, and worked with large negatives in order to avoid having to enlarge. In 1864 she began to register her work at the British Copyright Office, became a member of the Photographic Society of London and of Scotland, and prepared photographs for exhibition and sale through the London print dealers P. and D. Colnaghi. Most of her work was made between 1864 and 1875, before she left for family coffee plantations in Ceylon.

From the first moment I handled my lens with a tender ardour,” she wrote, “and it has become to me as a living thing, with voice and memory and creative vigour.” Condemned by some contemporaries for sloppy craftsmanship, she purposely avoided the perfect resolution and minute detail that glass negatives permitted, opting instead for carefully directed light, soft focus, and long exposures that allowed the sitters’ slight movement to register in her pictures, instilling them with an uncommon sense of breath and life.


Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879)
Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
The Beauty of the Heroine: Julia Margaret Cameron and the Poetic Portrait
Julia Margaret Cameron: soft-focus photographer with an iron will

Marion Post Wolcott: Born June 7, 1910


manwithstogieMarion Post Wolcott is best known for the more than 9,000 photographs she produced for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) from 1938 to 1942.1 This work is preserved at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division and also available online. Before Wolcott became a government photographer, she earned her living making photographs for magazines and newspapers. Initially she worked freelance, but, as a staff photojournalist in 1937 and 1938, Wolcott broke gendertrain barriers in the newspaper darkroom. Then she worked for the Farm Security Administration, one of the largest news photography projects in the world. She covered thousands of miles of the United States with her camera to document and publicize the need for federal assistance to those hardest hit by the Great Depression and agricultural blight.

Drawing on her social concerns and her artistic vision to illustrate issues that needed studentsredress, Wolcott produced an extraordinary number of images and her occupation challenged many social morés about the propriety of young women living away from the family home and traveling on their own. Although she worked professionally for only a few years, her artistry and perseverance have inspired many articles, books, and exhibitions and her photographs created a lasting record of American life on the eve of World War II.

The Photography of Marion Post Wolcott~
Oral history interview with Marion Post Wolcott, 1965~
Shorpy: M.P. Wolcott~

Artist Birthday Quiz for 6/2~

What American cartoonist and pioneering female comic book artist helped create the long-running Marvel Comics characters Millie the Model and Patsy Walker?

What Dutch photographer’s major theme, people in transitional moments, was formed when she began her breakthrough Beach Portrait series (begun in 1992)?

Answers here~

Artist Birthday Quiz for 5/29~

What photographer provided a respectful portrait of the rural culture and craftspeople of the Appalachian Mountains and the Gullahs of South Carolina?

What painter, known for her incisive self-portraits, began as an artist by taking children’s art classes at the Art Institute of Chicago at age eight?

Answers here~

Dorothea Lange: Born May 26, 1895




International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum~

RICHARD K. DOUD: This is a tape recorded interview with Dorothea Lange in New York City, May 22, 1964. The interviewer is Richard K. Doud. Now I have read, and I don’t remember where, that you decided to become a photographer when you were about seventeen years old. I wanted to ask you first, why, if you were interested in a visual communication medium, you picked photography rather than say, some form of graphic arts, or something like this. It seems to me that at that time photography would beby Dorothea Lange a very unlikely choice for a woman to suddenly decide to pursue, because I don’t think that photography was really that commonplace when you decided to become a photographer. I was wondering why?

DOROTHEA LANGE: Well, I have no convincing answer to that. Many of my decisions, I don’t know where they came from. I can’t really place them-all of a sudden I know what I’m going to do. I was young, and faced with the question of how I was going to maintain myself on the planet. I had to earn my own living; my mother was a librarian, taking care of Sharecroppermyself and my brother and seeing us through, and the family thought that the quickest way for a woman to earn a living was to go into teaching, which I didn’t want to do at all. I didn’t argue it; but my mother and grandmother used to use the phrase, “But it’s something to fall back on,” you know. And that, I think, is a detestable phrase for a young person. I decided, almost on a certain day, that I was going to be a photographer. I thought at the time that I could earn my living without too much difficulty. I’d make modest photographs of people, starting with the people whom I knew. I had some sort of a general idea. This was before I even owned a camera. I had never owned a camera, but I just knew that was what I wanted to do. Maybe I was one of those lucky people who know what they want to do without having to make these hard decisions, but I didn’t know any photography.

FatherSonLibrary of Congress~
National Archives~

Artist Birthday Quiz for 5/20~

Which German baroque sculptor also worked as an architect and built many state buildings in Berlin during his role as Court Architect?

Which photojournalist and his wife became LIFE magazine’s first husband and wife photographer-reporter team to be sent overseas?

Answers here~