...I could go on, but I think you get the point.
(Thanks to Yuanchung Lee)
Question from Don Bryant: "There has been a suggestion on an internet forum that Penn didn't actually do his platinum printing. Of course anything can be written on the net but the suggestion was made by someone very knowledgeable about the world of platinum printing. I don't know if that is true or not but the rumor is out there. But I have to ask, if the rumor is true, does it matter? I was fortunate to see a couple of large exhibits of his work and was a great admirer of the work I saw firsthand. His dye transfer color prints were great as well. I recall coming back to the exhibits three times to soak it all in."
Answered by Keith Trumbo: "Regarding Mr. Penn and some vague internet accusation questioning whether he made his own platinum prints: I worked for Mr. Penn for many years alongside him as he made his platinum prints. He made the developers, he coated each one personally. I was lucky enough to be an extra pair of hands to help get his work done. Yes I was one of many that helped him in one aspect or another in the production, but I want this to be heard loud and clear—Penn personally made his own platinum prints."
Featured Comment by Calvin Amari: "At least with respect to Penn's career, the institutional guardians of fine art photography are well over marginalizing his commercial work as a fashion photographer. Indeed, things more generally have gone so far to the other extreme—witness the most commercial of Annie Leibovitz's photos with all their gooey appeal displayed in art museums—that I suspect that some readers don't fully appreciate the sardonic nature of Mike's post.
"Despite working at Vogue magazine since 1943, Penn did not have an exhibition at MoMA until the mid-Seventies show of the cigarette butt series that, to me at least, must be seen in their monumental original size to be fully appreciated. Much of the ambiguity of the pictures—both optically (their resemblance to ancient ruined marble columns) and intellectually (the questions of whether he was both literally and figuratively inflating something prosaic into something larger than it can become)—does not come through in reduced size. But there was another sort of ambiguity or tension regarding the exhibition as well. John Szarkowski in his wall essay acknowledged in passing Penn's commercial work in the world of 'haute couture or cuisine' and said, with what appeared to be almost an apologetic sense of embarrassed dismissal, that 'one might guess that he [Penn] has only rarely enjoyed more than a cursory interest in the nominal subject of his [fashion] pictures.'
"At the same time, it is hard to escape the sense that Penn was not being sardonic himself about this issue of his primary home being located in the ghetto of commercial photography. He had to be smiling to himself and at himself that, after three decades at the top of the profession, cigarette butts became his key to the pantheon. It's not that Penn pulled a fast one, per se. The cigarette butt work reflects keen intellect and craft, but it is interesting to contemplate all the subtle elements of the wit and schmaltz that Penn also brought to that particular proceeding."