Pierrepenny.com is an exploration of the creative connections in my family history, inspired by my great great grandfather, Pierre Gentieu (1842-1930), who I found out was a photographer 15 years into my own photography career.
I am the daughter of the late Audrey Gentieu, a pastel portrait artist in Toledo, Ohio. I grew up wanting to be an artist, but I became a photographer instead. I had a photo studio in New York for 27 years, where I balanced my fine art projects with editorial and advertising work. Known for my distinctive photos of babies, I have over 200 magazine covers to my credit. My book, Baby! Talk! has been chosen for the past two years by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to be given to about 100,000 babies each year. My personal work is in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Photography.
I’ve authored seven books on Pierre Gentieu, including two handmade artist’s books.
Contact me at penny @ babystock.com.
The Museum of Contemporary Photography said this:
She is also a part of a family of artists, beginning with her great-grandfather, a Civil War photographer. Gentieu uses this family history to highlight the relationship between memory and experience, particularly in how a visual language can traverse generations. Comparing her black-and-white snapshots with the works of her family, she portrays how genetic ties can carry a visual trace.
Note from Ellen Rendle, Historical Society of Delaware, 1994:
Your “story” and memory of the book you made with your grandfather’s work will remain as one of my best examples of how the past and present connect in really meaningful, personal ways.
Email from Bishop Peggy Johnson, June, 2019:
What an amazing family history and insight you have.