Irving Penn

BIOGRAPHY

1917-2009

Preeminent throughout the twentieth century, Irving Penn studied with Alexey Brodovitch at the Philadelphia Museum School, then became assistant to Alexander Liberman at Condé Nast and opened his own studio in 1953.  Six decades of refined fashion photography, a distillation of still lifes, nudes replete with narrative and classical portraiture of stellar subjects secured him as an icon.  His memorable ethnographic photographic essays for Vogue, shot primarily in natural light, reveal his formal yet intimate style.  Later works – exquisitely composed, uncontrived object and flower studies – convey especial immediacy and resonance.  Venues of major museum exhibitions include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Morgan Library and The J. Paul Getty Museum.