Podcast: Irving Penn - Many Versions of Perfect

We tried something a little different with this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. We took three writers from our Explora blog along with us as we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the much praised photography retrospective, Irving Penn: Centennial. Upon our return we gathered to talk about the exhibit and the influential work of Irving Penn.

If you love photography, the name Irving Penn should be familiar to you, but this retrospective places equal emphasis on work that falls outside the realm of his famed fashion and portraiture for Vogue Magazine and synthesizes his almost 70 years of photography, acquainting us with his still-life, documentary, nudes, and even street photography, as well as with his skills as a printer.

Along with our guests Cory Rice, Jill Waterman, and Akeem Addy, we talk about the works on view in this retrospective-- what impressed us the most, what confused us, what surprised us, what we learned about the cohesive strength of composition, light, and gesture in Penn’s work, and just how influential he has been on all of our photography, whether we realize it or not.

Guests: Jill Waterman, Cory Rice, Akeem Addy

Rochas Mermaid Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), Paris, 1950. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York © Condé Nast
Pablo Picasso at La Californie, Cannes, 1957. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, © The Irving Penn Foundation
Fishmonger, London, 1950. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, © Condé Nast
Cuzco Children, 1948. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, © Condé Nast
Cigarette No. 37, New York, 1972. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, © The Irving Penn Foundation
After-Dinner Games, New York, 1947. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, © Condé Nast
Three Asaro Mud Men, New Guinea, 1970. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, © The Irving Penn Foundation
Single Oriental Poppy, New York, 1968. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, © The Irving Penn Foundation
Marlene Dietrich, New York, 1948. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, © The Irving Penn Foundation
Tribesman with Nose Disc, New Guinea, 1970. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, © The Irving Penn Foundation
Truman Capote, New York, 1948. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, © The Irving Penn Foundation
Glove and Shoe, New York, 1947. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, © Condé Nast
Irving Penn’s Rolleiflex camera on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photograph by John Harris
Jill Waterman, Allan Weitz, Cory Rice, Akeem Addy. Photograph by John Harris
All Photographs by Irving Penn, except where noted
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Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: John Harris
Producer: Jason Tables
Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves

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