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Penn In Focus At The Met

Irving Penn (American, 1917–2009) After-Dinner Games, New York, 1947 Dye transfer print, 1985 22 1⁄4 × 18 1⁄8 in. (56.5 × 46 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation © Condé Nast

Gelatin silver print, 2000 10 × 8 1/8 in. (25.4 × 20.6 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation © The Irving Penn Foundation

Dye transfer print 18 3⁄4 × 18 3⁄8 in. (47.6 × 46.7 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation © The Irving Penn Foundation

Gelatin silver print, 1985 10 1⁄2 × 10 3⁄8 in. (26.7 × 26.4 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation © The Irving Penn Foundation

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation © The Irving Penn Foundation

Penn In Focus At The Met

The work of the renowned American photographer is being celebrated in New York.

Penn In Focus At The Met

To mark the centennial of Irving Penn’s birth, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is presenting a retrospective of his photographs. Over the course of his nearly 70-year career, Penn (1917-2009) mastered a pared-down aesthetic of studio photography, distinguished for its meticulous attention to composition, nuance, detail and printmaking.

Penn was first and foremost a fashion photographer, with his early photographs of couture establishing a new standard. His craftsmanship was honed under the instruction of legendary art director Alexander Liberman, who once described Penn as someone “unspoiled” by cultural in uences: “I was struck by his directness and a curious unworldliness, a clarity of purpose and a freedom of decision.” Yet Penn’s fashion photographs are merely the most salient of his specialities.

Penn dealt with so many subjects throughout his long career that he is conventionally seen either with a single lens – as the portraitist, fashion photographer, or still-life virtuoso – or as the master of all trades, the jeweller of journalists who could fine-tune anything.

Irving Penn: Centennial, at The Met Fifth Avenue, includes both masterpieces and previously unknown prints from all Penn’s major series. It runs until July 30.

For more information, click here.

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