Opening on 24 April, the Met will display a comprehensive range of Irving Penn’s work, spanning the course of his 68-year career. The collection, which marks the centennial of his birth in 1917, will include the Vogue-photographer’s most famous works, along with lesser-known prints.
Penn, who died in 2009, was known for his modern compositions and minimal backgrounds (he often used an old theatre curtain, painted with grey clouds.) He contributed to Vogue magazine over six decades and was an accomplished portraitist, shooting celebrities including Pablo Picasso, Truman Capote, and Joe Louis over his career.
The exhibition will also explore Penn’s portraits of indigenous people in Cuzco, Peru and his shots of urban labourers in his Small Trades series. Penn’s street signs, flower studies, and cigarette still lives will also be incorporated to celebrate the impressive range of the photographer’s career.