Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty
September 10–November 19, 2016
Lesley University presents, free of charge and for the benefit of public audiences, a major retrospective of the work of legendary American photographer Irving Penn (1917–2009). The exhibition is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. Lesley University is the only site for the exhibition in the northeast
Irving Penn (1917–2009) known for his iconic fashion, portrait, and still life images that appeared in Vogue, ranks as one of the foremost photographers of the twentieth century. Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty, the first retrospective of Penn’s work in nearly twenty years, celebrates his legacy as a modern master and reveals the full expressive range of his work. The exhibition features work from all stages of Penn’s career—street scenes from the late 1930s, photographs of the American South from the early 1940s, celebrity portraits, fashion photographs, still lifes, and more private studio images. Penn’s pictures reveal a taste for stark simplicity whether he was photographing celebrities, fashion models, still lifes, or people in remote places of the world.
Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty is drawn entirely from the extensive holdings of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. On display are 146 photographs from the museum’s permanent collection, including the debut of 100 photographs recently donated to the museum by The Irving Penn Foundation. The exhibition presents several previously unseen or never exhibited photographs.
For additional information visit