Photographs of Dahomey
Early highlights from a career spanning more than sixty years: Irving Penn’s Dahomey photographs of 1967.
Irving Penn, born in 1917 in New Jersey and lives and works in New York, is one of the major photographers of the twentieth century. He is best known for his distinguished fashion and portrait photographs as well as for his unique still lifes. In 1967, Penn traveled on assignment from the American fashion magazine Vogue to Dahomey in west Africa, now the Republic of Benin. His portraits of natives taken in his portable studio built especially for the occasion reflect Penn’s fascination with foreign cultures, as do his photographs of culturally significant clay figures of the voodoo god Legba.
Thirty-five years after their publication in Vogue, Irving Penn now presents these portraits of tribal people and his photographs of Legba altars in book form for the first time. With texts by leading anthropologists and Irving Penn himself, this volume is an extraordinary photographic document of African culture.
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