The Irving Penn Photographic Collection consists of photographic prints and negatives captured by Penn between 1944 and 1945 during his time as an ambulance driver and staff photographer stationed with CM 92 and IB 59-T of the American Field Service (AFS) in Italy and India-Burma. The photographic prints and negatives in this collection include posed portraiture of AFS drivers in the 485 and 567 Companies (sometimes containing more than one individual), casual photographs of the drivers and their military peers in the British Eighth Army, the transfer of AFS units from Italy to India-Burma in 1945, platoon headquarters, and interactions with local civilians.
Most of the photographic prints were developed from the negatives in this collection, although there are some photographs with no corresponding negative (including photographs of the air evacuations in Italy in Subseries1C.) Similarly, there are some negatives with no corresponding photograph (including several negatives of soldiers from the British Eighth Army in Subseries 2B and images from General McCreery’s review of 485 Company in Subseries 2C.) Most of the photographs in Series 1 were labeled (verso) by Penn or other AFS staff.
Please see the individual series descriptions for additional information.