Irving Penn, Photorapher of the 20th Century’s Stars and Styles, is Dead

10/07/2009 4:32 PM |

Irving Penn

The New York Times reports today that Irving Penn, an American photographer who shot basically every celebrity and clothes by famous designer in the second half of the 20th century, died this morning at age 92 at his home in Manhattan. You’ve probably seen his fun and elegant portraits of everyone from Kate Moss to Pablo Picasso by way of Woody Allen, Francis Bacon and Truman Capote.

Personally, though, I often preferred Penn’s fashion photography (pictured), which despite being very obviously posed and planned, managed to lend both the clothes and the image a sense of crazy movement and dynamism that wasn’t in the designs. Weirdly, Los Angeles’s Getty Center is currently showing the largest retrospective of Penn’s photographs ever assembled.

One Comment

  • His younger brother, Arthur Penn, director of Bonnie and Clyde (and Night Moves!) survives him; he’s 87, and had been working in New York on TV and stage through the beginning of this decade.