Irving Penn, 1917-2009

Sad news that the master photographer Mr. Irving Penn passed away this morning.  He was one of a kind.

Here is the link to his obituary written by Andy Grundberg that was published on the New York Times website today.   I encourage you to read it.  As the news is spreading, more recaps of Penn’s career and artistry are being posted on line; tonight’s edition of NPR’s All Things Considered hosted a dialogue between Melissa Block, Michelle Norris and William Stapp, founding curator of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery and co-curator of the Penn exhibition hosted by the National Gallery, as well as posting this story about Penn’s impact as an artist.    A selection of Penn’s photographs are on the NPR photo blog:

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles is currently hosting “Irving Penn: Small Trades” through January 10, 2010; among the accompanying events is a gallery course lead by co-curator Virginia Heckert, associate curator of photography on Saturday, October 24th.  Heckert will also lead a gallery talk on October 29th at 1:30 pm, followed by Anne Lacoste, assistant curator of Photographs doing the same on Wednesday November 18th and December 2nd at 1:30.   Heckert and Lacoste co-authored the accompanying publication.

I also encourage you to read this article “Irving Penn: He photographed the most important artists of the last half-centure and in the process joined their ranks” written by Philip Gefter at the time of Penn’s gift of prints to the Morgan Library that was published on Slate o 2/29/08.   And, Vogue magazine’s site has posted several remembrances tonight, including “The Mighty Penn” written by  Kennedy Fraser originally published in the July 2007 issue of the magazine.



  1. nollon22 said

    Given that you’ve posted on copyright issues in the past it’s disturbing that you’ve chosen to lift the entire text of an NYT piece here on your blog. A link and a brief quote would be appropriate – copying in entirety is unnecessary, uncool, disrespectful and a violation of copyright. You should know better.

    • Mary Virginia Swanson said

      You are correct, the quotes and the reference aren’t enough. Instead I will take it down and offer the link for readers to view the article on the NYT website, reading it in the context which it was originally presented in. Thank you for writing me with your concerns. MVS

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