The most comprehensive retrospective to date of the work of the great American photographer Irving Penn (1917–2009), this exhibition will mark the centennial of the artist’s birth.
Over the course of his nearly 70-year career, Penn mastered a pared-down aesthetic of studio photography that is distinguished for its meticulous attention to composition, nuance, and detail.
The exhibition follows the 2015 announcement of the landmark promised gift from The Irving Penn Foundation to The Met of more than 150 photographs by Penn, representing every period of the artist’s dynamic career with the camera. The gift will form the core of the exhibition, which will feature more than 200 photographs by Penn, including iconic fashion studies of Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, the artist’s wife; exquisite still lifes; Quechua children in Cuzco, Peru; portraits of urban laborers; female nudes; tribesmen in New Guinea; and color flower studies. The artist’s beloved portraits of cultural figures from Truman Capote, Picasso, and Colette to Ingmar Bergman and Issey Miyake will also be featured. Rounding out the exhibition will be photographs by Penn that entered The Met collection prior to the promised gift.
The exhibition is made possible by the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Enterprise Holdings Endowment, and The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation. It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in collaboration with The Irving Penn Foundation. The catalogue is made possible by the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Inc.; the Mary C. and James W. Fosburgh Publications Fund; and the Roswell L. Gilpatric Publications Fund.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art 5th Ave
April 24 – July 30, 2017.
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
NY 10028 New York