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Irving Penn: Moments Preserved (Lacking Slipcase)

Publisher: New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Hardcover
Condition: Fine / Very Good
Item #: 106711



First edition, first printing. Hardcover. Beige cloth-covered boards with title stamped in black on spine; with printed dust jacket; missing original slipcase. Photographs and text by Irving Penn. Introduction by Alexander Liberman. Captions and text collaboration by Rosemary Blackmon. Includes an index of plates. 184 pp., with 39 four-color plates and numerous black-and-white plates, finely printed in Switerland by Camera Publishers, C. J. Bucher, Ltd., Lucerne. 13 x 9-3/4 inches. [Cited in Andrew Roth, ed., The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century. (New York: PPP Editions in association with Roth Horowitz LLC, 2001), and in Andrew Roth, ed., The Open Book. (Göteborg, Sweden: Hasselblad Center in association with Steidl Verlag, Göttingen, Germany, 2004).]


Fine in Very Good dust jacket (1-inch closed tear at the top rear flap, moderate wear to the extremities, toning to the spine); missing slipcase.


From Vince Aletti: "Irving Penn's first book, Moments Preserved, is an overview of an astonishingly busy career -- one that began in earnest when he was hired by Alexander Liberman in 1943 to be the art director's assistant at Vogue....Penn spent a month in Lucerne, Switzerland, overseeing the printers at C. J. Bucher, who had produced Avedon's Observations the previous year. For Moments Preserved, they worked with gravure, letterpress, and offset processes on separate paper stocks and had casts of Condé Nast's original engraving plates flown in from New York for the book's color reproductions. When the first gravures didn't have the requisite depth, those pages went back to press and another image layer was laid on top of the originals.

The book's first edition print run of 20,000 was divided into French, Italian, German, and English editions....Subtitled Eight Essays in Photographs and Words, Moments Preserved gathers Penn's vast variety of enthusiasms -- mostly for the vast variety of humanity -- and slots them into categories by nationality: the French, the Italians, the English, the Americans. Though most of the sections include fashion studies, still lifes, and impressionist scenes...they have in common the photographer's deftly understated portraits, printed here in the subtlest gravure. Penn reinvented the classic daylight studio portrait for a more casual time, undercutting its formality but heightening its potential as a revealing performance."