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Art Diary

Irving Penn

8 March 2024

With a career spanning more than seven decades, Irving Penn was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century and played an important part in gaining recognition for the medium as a form of fine art. This major retrospective (16 March–21 July), organised by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and presented at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, brings together more than 175 of Penn’s photographs. This includes pared-back portraits of Hollywood icons such as Audrey Hepburn and his carefully composed still lifes. Additionally, the exhibition celebrates Penn’s contributions to fashion photography, with a particular focus on his work with Vogue over the course of six decades. It also contains a section dedicated to images of daily life in 1967 during San Francisco’s Summer of Love that demonstrate his versatility as a photographer. Find out more from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s website.

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Still Life with Watermelon (1947), Irving Penn. The Irving Penn Foundation; © Condé Nast

Rock Groups (Big Brother and the Holding Company and The Grateful Dead) (1967), Irving Penn. © The Irving Penn Foundation

Audrey Hepburn (1951), Irving Penn. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; © Condé Nast