Irving Penn - probably most widely known for his Fashion Photography and Portraiture work was also an inspiring still life photographer. He's one of those legacies who continues to education the Art world long after his death (which was in 2009 at the grand age of 92).
As you can see, even here on deviantART people are paying homage to the master and recreating his works. Whilst the Still Life Photography Gallery here on deviantART has moved into the modern era with creative bokeh and other fantastic effects - the traditional beginnings still remain to inspire at least some. Penn was, in fact, one of the first photographers to begin posing objects and people against a grey or white backdrop. Something utilized by Photographers almost daily now.