Where Else Could Irving Penn’s Photos Go But the Met Museum?

Fashion classicists and Irvin Penn fans, rejoice. The Metropolitan’s extraordinary retrospective of the master photographer has opened, commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the artist’s birth. The Met, which began acquiring Irving Penn in 1959, has presented two prior shows on the artist — 1977 and 2002 — but nothing on the scale of this centennial exhibition.



To mark the occasion, the Irving Penn Foundation has promised a landmark gift of more than 150 photographs, representing every period of Penn’s 70-year career, forming the core of the exhibition. In all, more than 200 photos will go on view, including fashion studies of Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, the artist’s wife; Quechua children in Cuzco, Peru; New Guinea tribesmen; color flower studies; nudes; and still lifes, as well as his studio portraits of cultural figures. It’s widely believed to be the largest collection of Penn’s work in the world.

Irving Penn: Centennial, April 20 – July 30, 2017, Metropolitan Museum, NYC


Ballet Society (1948), Irving Penn


Evelyn Tripp in dress by Anna Miller (1950), Irving Penn


Audrey Hepburn (1951), Irving Penn


Cigarettes (early 1960s), Irving Penn


Cuzco Children of Peru (1948), Irving Penn


Marlene Dietrich (1947), Irving Penn


Dorian Leigh in Balenciaga (1950), Irving Penn


Pablo Picasso (1957), Irving Penn


The Tarot Reader, Jean Patchett & Bridget Tichenor (1949), Irving Penn


Yves Saint Laurent, Irving Penn


Mouth, for L’Oréal (1986), Irving Penn


Single Oriental Poppy (1968), Irving Penn


Naomi Sims in Scarf (ca. 1969), Irving Penn


Three Asaro Mud Men, New Guinea (1970), Irving Penn


Tribesman with Nose Disc, New Guinea (1970), Irving Penn

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