|IRVING PENN (American, born in New Jersey 1917- 2009), Frederic Franklin
and Alexandra Danilova, New York, March 12, 1946, vintage gelatin
silver print, 9 ½ x 7 ¼ inches. Permanent collection 2007.5.111. Bequest
of Isadore and Kelly Friedman
On March 12, 1946, ballet dancers Fredric Franklin and Alexandra Danilova were captured on film by eminent fashion photographer Irving Penn (1917 - 2009). One of a series of photographs from this shoot is on display in our second-floor photography galleries.
Irving Penn defined a new look for magazines, beginning in the 1950s. As a
photographer for Vogue Magazine, he was the first photographer to place
his models against plain backdrops, thus erasing space and scale, which
made the models the sole focus. Here, we see Alexandra Danilova against
the silhouette of Fredric Franklin in a soft-focus vintage gelatin
silver print. Very ethereal.
years later, visitors can marvel at the two world-class dancers’
strength and grace. Each dancer commands an impressive résumé. Franklin
began dancing in 1931 with Josephine Baker at the Casino de Paris, an
institution that continues to present grand ballets and musical acts to
This legendary partnership between the Russian-born prima ballerina and her dance partner Fredric Franklin is part of Penn's early work that helped to usher in the minimalist look of fashion photography during the modern era.