BIOGRAPHY

Irving Penn (1917–2009) began his career as a fashion and celebrity photographer working for Vogue magazine. He later used the techniques from his early portraiture work when he traveled around the world, photographing indigenous people in a portable studio he set up in various locales. Relying on the physiognomy and dress of his sitter rather than the context of a background allowed him to represent sitters in a similar manner to the celebrities he photographed in his earlier work, using natural light and a neutral background. This elemental portraiture of indigenous people is demonstrated in his published works, Worlds in a Small Room, Portraits in a Corner, and The Small Trades.  Irving Penn is also known for his still lives of food, flowers, and detritus—cigarette butts, discarded paper cups, and chewing gum. The collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, among many others, hold Penn’s work.

 

Selected Exhibitions:
2010
Portraits, The National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
2009
Small Trades, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, USA
2008
Close Encounters, Morgan Library & Museum, New York, USA
Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, USA 
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, USA
Tate Modern, London, England
2007
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
HackelBury Fine Art Limited, London, England
2006
Palais des Beaux-Arts / Bozar, Brusells, Belgium
2005
Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland
International Center of Photography, New York, USA
2004|
Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, USA
Langhans Galerie Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
2002
Hamiltons Gallery, London, England 
2000

Retrospective, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA 
1997
Retrospective, State Heritage, St.Petersburg, Russia 
1995
Hamiltons Gallery, London, England
1993
Hamiltons Gallery, London, England 
1991
Hamiltons Gallery, London, England 
1990
National Museum of American Art and National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.
1984–1987
Retrospective, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA 
1985
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
1984
Vision Gallery, Boston, USA 
1983
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
1982
Marlborough Gallery, New York, USA 
1981
Ferens Art Gallery, Yorkshire (travelled to the Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester; Cooper Gallery, Barnsley; Castle Museum, Nottingham; Photographers' Gallery, London), England
Marlborough Fine Art, London, England 
1980
Marlborough, New York, USA 
1979
Tiroler Landesmuseum, Innsbruck, Austria (travelled to the Nueu Galerie am Wolfgang Gurlitt Museum, Linz, Austria; Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria; and Museum des 20, Jahrhunderts, Vienna, Austria)
1978
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
1977
International Museum of Photography, Rochester, New York (travelling to the Brooklyn Museum, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Cincinnati Art Institute, Cincinnati; and Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg), USA
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA 
1976
Masters of the Camera, American Federation of the Arts, New York, USA
1975
Jewett Arts Center, Wellesley College, Wellesley, USA
Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporaneo, Torino, Italy 
1967–1973
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
1963
Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. 
1961
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
1955
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA