Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Irving Penn: Centennial

April 24 at 9:30 pm - July 30 at 9:30 pm BST

Irving Penn (American, 1917–2009). Rochas Mermaid Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), Paris, 1950. Platinum-palladium print, 1980, 19 7/8 x 19 3/4 in. (50.5 x 50.2 cm). © Condé Nast | Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation

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.

Mostly known for his impact on the world of fashion photography, Irving Penn redefined conventional composition norms by being consistently innovative and influential through his work. Penn had a way of capturing his various subjects with both an ease and formal brilliance that many strive to achieve.

As the show moves along, it retraces a brilliant, productive career of nearly 70 years, revealing the unwavering consistency of a vision fixed on form and beauty in their many guises: extensive fashion work for Vogue; portraits of cultural luminaries and tradesmen, as well as of indigenous Peruvians and New Guinean tribesmen; nearly abstract close-ups of overly voluptuous nudes; and colossal cigarette butts magnified to suggest Roman columns, tombstones and even corpses.

Free with Museum Membership.
Admission fee is suggested.


The Met Fifth Avenue
1000 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10028 United States


Metropolitan Museum of Art