Interpretive Resource

Website: Irving Penn Archives

Website: Irving Penn Archives

Irving Penn (1917–2009) was one of the most important and influential photographers of the 20th century. In a career that spanned almost seventy years, Penn worked on professional and artistic projects across multiple genres. He was a master printer of both black-and-white and color photography and published more than nine books of his photographs and two of his drawings during his lifetime.

In 1995, Irving Penn donated his archive to the Art Institute of Chicago. With that gift, the museum became one of the world's leading repositories for photographs by Penn and material about his life and work. Housed in two locations—the Ryerson and Burnham Archives and the Department of Photography—the rich, diverse holdings are united for the first time on this website, creating pathways into Penn's multi-faceted career.


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