In a career that spanned eight decades, iconic American photographer Irving Penn (1917–2009) created an enormous body of work. In this retrospective the full range of his accomplishment is seen in more than 140 photographs including early social realist images, glamorous fashion photographs, insightful portraits, still lifes, nudes, and his late work with found objects.
A master at lighting and composition, Penn’s works are characterized by technical virtuosity combined with a facility for blurring the boundaries between the world of fine art and commercial photography. Through Penn’s lens, a crushed paper cup received the same meticulous examination as an elegant model and a London chimney sweep was photographed with the same attention as the intelligentsia of the day.
Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty provides a compelling overview of the work of one of the 20th century’s greats, while simultaneously reflecting on some of the century’s most enthralling personalities and exploring its social and cultural contrasts.
Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with generous support from ART MENTOR FOUNDATION LUCERNE, Sakurako and William Fisher, The William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment Fund, The Lauder Foundation – Leonard and Judy Lauder Fund, Edward Lenkin and Roselin Atzwanger, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Margery and Edgar Masinter, The Margery and Edgar Masinter Exhibitions Fund, the James F. Petersen Charitable Fund in honor of Tania and Tom Evans, The Bernie Stadiem Endowment Fund, and the Trellis Fund. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go.
Image: Irving Penn, Salvador Dali, New York, 1947, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist. Copyright © The Irving Penn Foundation.
The Frick is pleased to be the exclusive North American venue for this blockbuster exhibition organized by London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Discover the fascinating world of underwear design from the eighteenth century to the present day in Undressed, which takes a serious look at an alluring subject. The exhibition illustrates how undergarments reflect society’s changing ideas about the body, morality, and sex, and the intimate relationship between underwear and fashion and its role in molding the body to an always changing fashionable ideal. Organized into thematic sections that explore such ideas as relaxation, revelation, temptation, transformation, and performance—Undressed looks at how our undergarments shape our bodies, and reveal things about ourselves. Organized by the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
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Image: Cotton and whalebone corset, c.1890, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London