Irving Penn(1917-2009), Photographer
Artist of 30 portraits
Penn studied at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. He worked as art director of the department store Saks Fifth Avenue and spent a year painting in Mexico before joining the staff of Vogue in 1943 where, on the suggestion of its art director, Alexander Lieberman, he started working as a photographer. The following year he joined the U.S. Field Service on ambulance duty, and served with the British Army in Italy and India. After the war Penn returned immediately to Vogue, making fashion pictures, still lives, portraits and theatrical compositions. From 1953 he also worked from his own studio. Penn won many awards and his pictures are in numerous museums and permanent collections.
More on Penn: Timeline
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.
William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.
Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.