In Memoriam: October 2009 Archives

"One Beautiful Picture After Another"

At the end of an already tough month, word came yesterday that photographer Roy DeCarava had died. Trained originally as a painter, DeCarava was the first African-American to win a Guggenheim Fellowship, and elevated photography of primarily African-American subjects to more than just a documentary endeavor--the power and intimate emotion of his images is undeniable. For his work in magazines, Lester Sloan wrote, "DeCarava's approach to photojournalism, and his choice of subjects, set him apart at a time when the image-makers were encroaching on the turf of the writers." The Times' Lens Blog has a slideshow of a small part of his work, and copies of his monograph "Roy DeCarava: A Retrospective" and his collaboration with Langston Hughes, "The Sweet Flypaper of Life" are must-get.
Goodbye, Mr. Penn

Goodbye, Mr. Penn


How do you say goodbye to someone you never met?

I never knew Irving Penn. But I'm going to miss him. He was a constant, important presence in my life for many years.

I've looked for Irving Penn's pictures in American Vogue every month for as long as I can remember. I looked for the man himself on the street in New York too. A photographer friend once told me a story about Mr. Penn, a myth no doubt, one of those artist-as-God stories, related in a hushed voice, but I liked the story, so I chose to believe it. … MORE

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