Irving Penn, Girl Behind Bottle (Jean Patchett), New York, 1949, Printed 1978, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist © The Irving Penn Foundation.

Museum Exhibitions

Irving Penn

Beyond Beauty

Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego

September 29, 2018 – February 17, 2019

Irving Penn (1917–2009), known for his iconic fashion, portrait and still life images that appeared in Vogue magazine, ranks as one of the foremost photographers of the 20th century. Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty, organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and curated by Merry Foresta, the museum’s first Curator of Photography, is the first retrospective of Penn’s work in nearly 20 years.

The exhibition features work from all stages of Penn’s career—street scenes from the late 1930s, photographs of the American South from the early 1940s, celebrity portraits, fashion photographs, still lifes and more private studio images. Penn’s pictures reveal a modernist instinct for stark simplicity whether he was photographing celebrities, fashion models, still lifes or people in remote places of the world.

For more information about the exhibition, please visit the Museum of Photographic Arts' (opens in a new window) website.

  • Museum Exhibitions — Irving Penn at the Museum of Photographic Arts, Aug 16, 2018