In 1975, twenty-one-year-old, Wyoming-raised photographer Penny Wolin checked into a pay-by-the-week residential hotel on a faded stretch of Hollywood Boulevard, and began to make portraits of her neighbors.
Guest Register is not an inventory of transitory souls, but a benediction from them, “a permanent amulet,” as Wolin says, to keep the unfeeling at bay, and dreams close at hand.
Penny Wolin also known as Penny Diane Wolin is an American portrait photographer and trained as a visual anthropologist. Known for her documentary and conceptual photographs, she has completed commissions for major corporations, national magazines and private collectors.
Penny has been honored to photograph such great American icons as Annie Leibovitz, George Burns, Charlton Heston, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ansel Adams, Lester Rodney and Robert Frank. Her seminal book and exhibition, The Jews of Wyoming: Fringe of the Diaspora was hailed by Library Journal as “a unique and important contribution to our understanding of Jewish life in the United States.” Kirkus Reviews recently bestowed upon Wolin’s exhaustive book, Descendants of Light: American Photographers of Jewish Ancestry, the coveted Kirkus Star, one of the most prestigious designations of excellence in the book industry. “A rich, well-documented collection for students of photography and Jewish culture.”
“It is an interesting thing about photography,” says Wolin. “A photograph can definitely be worth a thousand words, but match a few words with one good photograph and you have told the whole story.”