By Maria Morris Hambourg and Jeff L. Rosenheim. Contributions by Alexandra Dennett, Philippe Garner, Adam Kirsch, Harald E. L. Prins, and Vasilios Zatse. This catalogue accompanies The Metropolitan Museum of Art Department of Photographs exhibition. Irving Penn (1917–2009) was among the most esteemed and influential photographers of the twentieth century. This indispensable book features one of the largest selections of Penn’s photographs ever compiled—nearly 300 in all—including famous and beloved images as well as works that have never been published. Celebrating the centennial of Penn’s birth, this volume spans the entirety of his nearly 70-year career.
Lively essays acquaint readers with Penn’s primary subjects and campaigns, including early documentary scenes and imagery; portraits of cultural figures and celebrities; fashion; female nudes; peoples of Peru, Dahomey (Benin), New Guinea, and Morocco; and still lifes. Rounding out the book are discussions of Penn’s advertising pictures and his painstaking printing processes, as well as an illustrated chronology. Irving Penn: Centennial is essential for any fan of this artists work or of the history of twentieth-century photography. Maria Morris Hambourg is an independent curator of photography. Jeff L. Rosenheim is Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Alexandra Dennett is associate archivist at The Irving Penn Foundation. Philippe Garner is retired from the auction business and was most recently deputy chairman of Christie’s. Adam Kirsch is a poet and literary critic. Harald E. L. Prins is University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Kansas State University. Vasilios Zatse is associate director of The Irving Penn Foundation.