One of the 20th century’s most renowned and emulated photographers, Irving Penn, attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts (now University of the Arts) from 1934 to 1938.
After leaving the Museum School and traveling the world, Penn began working at Vogue in 1943. Over the next 60 years, Penn’s striking style earned him the reputation of one of the most influential fashion photographers of all time. Penn shot an astounding 165 covers for the magazine, and his dramatic black-and-white style is now a hallmark of midcentury commercial photography.
Though Penn is often viewed as a fashion photographer, he was also a gifted portraitist and printmaker. In 1984, Penn was honored with a retrospective of his work that began at MoMA and then toured the world. A centennial exhibition also traveled the globe in 2017, with its first stop being the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Penn lived to the age of 92 and died in 2009, having been a prolific photographer and artist for most of his life.