Irving Penn at The Met

There are few photographers whose signature style is recognizable across genres. Irving Penn is one such master: his iconic fashion work carries as much weight as his nudes; his still lifes are as revered as his portraits of indigenous cultures around the globe.

First becoming recognized for his editorial work at Vogue, Penn forged a career at the magazine that spanned six decades. A master of composition and form, his graphic images—often composed upon a simple gray backdrop and printed using a platinum palladium process—set a high standard for fashion photographers and portraitists to come.   


Irving Penn: Centennialon view at The Met through July 30, marks what would have been the artist’s centennial year were he still alive. The retrospective exhibition celebrates his studio practice and his mastery of portraiture and the photographic print medium.

All images above © The Irving Penn Foundation. From top to bottom: Mouth (for L’Oréal), New York, 1986; Glove and Shoe, New York July 7, 1947; Marlene Dietrich, New York, 1948; After-Dinner Games, New York, 1947; Single Oriental Poppy, New York, 1968; Naomi Sims in Scarf, New York, 1969; Pablo Picasso at La Californie, Cannes, 1957.