This iconic portrait of Mary Jane Russell was taken for Vogue in 1951. Penn was US Vogue’s longest-standing photographer and shot 165 covers during the 66 years he contributed to the magazine. He was known for meticulous detail and how he posed subjects in an abstract juxtaposition against neutral backdrops.
In the original, Russell posed in a ladylike fashion, while repeatedly flicking a bit of cigarette tobacco off her tongue. Penn said, ‘She brought to her posing as a model, concentration and tenderness, rare in the fashion medium today.’