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 – and a lucky one at that. I worked 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 live in Toledo, Ohio with my fabulous husband, Tom. We have a daughter, Anna Friemoth, who just happens to be a really good photographer living in Brooklyn, New York.
I started this blog in 2015, when I had a show about the four generations of artists in my family.
I hope you enjoy the stories and photos on this blog. I’d love to hear from you. 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.