Irving Penn Portraits
image of Rock Groups

Rock Groups (Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Grateful Dead), San Francisco,1967
The Morgan Library & Museum. Gift of Irving Penn. 2007.66 © The Irving Penn Foundation

*NPG logo

1917 – 1949 | 1950 – 1989 | 1990 – 2009


Liberman sent Penn to Paris to photograph the couture collections for the first time. At the same time he began a project titled Small Trades, a series of portraits of workers who were scouted from the street. Penn then travelled to London, where this project continued. Upon returning to New York in the autumn, Penn began the third and final stage of the Small Trades portraits, finishing them in 1951.


Vogue's New York studios closed down.


Opened own studio at 80 West 40th Street, New York. The space had large windows, which provided his favoured natural light. Penn's cameras included Rolleiflex, Deardorff V8 and Hasselblad.


Moments Preserved: Eight Essays in Photographs and Words, with an introduction by Alexander Liberman, was published by Simon & Schuster in New York and distributed by Bodley Head in London.


Began printing in platinum metals.


Penn's 100th Vogue cover appears for the 1 January issue


Made a series of portraits of the emerging hippy scene in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, for Look. Penn also photographed the Hell's Angels at this time.


Built a portable studio for a series of roaming photo-essays for Vogue. Locations included: Dahomey (now Benin), Nepal, Cameroon, New Guinea and Morocco.


Penn closed his studio at 80 West 40th Street. Rented a Fifth Avenue space for commercial and assignment work on a needs basis. Continued platinum printing in his Long Island darkroom.


Worlds in a Small Room published by Grossman Publishers, a division of Viking Press. The book included many of the photographs taken in his portable studio.


Irving Penn: Recent Works, Photographs of Cigarettes held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His first project conceived to be printed in platinum, the exhibition included twelve platinum prints of a series he had begun in 1972.
Exhibition and catalogue entitled Irving Penn: Platinum Plates held at the Photographer's Gallery, London.
Began photographing Issey Miyake advertising campaigns, which heralded a long working relationship between the pair and culminated in the publication of Irving Penn Regards the Work of Issey Miyake: Photographs, 1975-1998, published by Little, Brown and Company in 1999.


Irving Penn: Street Material, Photographs in Platinum Metals exhibition held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Inventive Paris Clothes, 1909-1939, with text by Diana Vreeland, is published by Viking Press. It comprised photos made in 1974 from an exhibition of early twentieth-century Parisian fashions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.


Penn's annual flower essays, originally published in the Christmas issues of Vogue between 1967 and 1973, were collated and published by Harmony Books as Flowers: Photographs by Irving Penn.


Penn relocated to the Fifth Avenue studio he would maintain for the rest of his career. Lighting used was daylight, tungsten and strobe. Camera equipment remained Rolleiflex, Deardorff V8 and Hasselblad.


The Museum of Modern Art, New York mounted Irving Penn, a retrospective of 168 photographs, and published an accompanying book, written by curator John Szarkowski. The show travelled worldwide, including to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.