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Worlds in a Small Room. Paperback – 1980
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1974/1980. First edition thus (softcover), first printing. Soft cover. Photographically illustrated stiff wrappers; no dust jacket as issued. Photographs and text by Irving Penn. 96 pp., with 74 black-and-white plates. 10-1/2 x 10-3/8 inches. [The first hardcover edition of this book was cited in Andrew Roth, ed., The Open Book. (Göteborg, Sweden: Hasselblad Center in association with Steidl Verlag, Göttingen, Germany, 2004).] From the publisher: "Beginning in 1948, when he photographed the Peruvian Indians in Cuzco, Penn has traveled the world to compile these 'records of physical' presence.' He has set up his 'ambulant studio' on the edge of the Sahara, among gypsies in Spain, in the highlands of New Guinea, in the mountains of Nepal -- and has invited the inhabitants to step, for a moment, out of their worlds and into a new one....For this remarkable collection of photographs, Penn has provided a text in which he further illuminates the relationship between photographer and subject, and the relationship between photographer and camera."
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The photographs in the book are astonishing. All of the photographs are lit with natural light and are shot in a studio. Penn captures the essence of culture in his photographs. The diverse people in the images allow you to see the different types of cultures that exist around the world.