Irving Penn Exhibition
Pablo Picasso, Cannes, France, 1957
Portraits of Artists and Writers
January 18 through April 13, 2008
Close Encounters showcases a group of sixty-seven portraits of notable subjects by Irving Penn (b. 1917), acquired by The Morgan Library & Museum in 2007. The exhibition demonstrates Penn’s incredible achievement as a portraitist, and photography’s vital role among the twentieth-century arts. The portrait subjects are chiefly writers and visual artists, with a smaller number of figures from dance, music, theater, and film. The group covers the range of Penn’s portrait production to date, beginning with a 1944 photograph of the painter Giorgio de Chirico, made in Rome, and ending with a remarkable 2006 portrait of the painter Jasper Johns, made in New York. Every decade of Penn’s work is represented in the exhibition.