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American photographer Irving Penn is considered a legend. His portraits of famous celebrities and luxurious fashion photos are well-known all over the world. And in fact the beautiful Karolína Kurková was also one of his models.

Irving Penn in Paris! The Legendary Photographer Who Worked with Stars Such As Karolína Kurková!

Eva Ledecká
19.Oct 2017
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1 minute
Johna Galliano, 2007

If you’re visiting Paris, make sure not to miss the unique retrospective exhibit of his photos.

The building itself, the Grand Palais, is an enticing destination on its own – thanks to its beautiful architecture and unique premises that are used by public museums for temporary exhibits. Until 29 January 2018, its interiors will be decorated by the luxurious photos by Irving Penn. 

Photos on the covers of Vogue

Irving Penn lived in 1917-2009. During the World War 2, he became famous for his photos of models, glamour and luxury. He worked for the fashion magazine Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, and his name soon became well-known in the world of fashion.

Irving Penn’s photos are simple, and he was the first photographer to make use of the grey and white backgrounds. His luxurious shots are clean and straightforward; instead of flash he uses natural light sources, and a small detail in the background often intentionally makes it clear that the shot was taken in an atelier.

Funkcionalistická vila na prodej, Praha-západ
Funkcionalistická vila na prodej, Praha-západ, Okolí Prahy

Salvador Dali and Karolína Kurková

Not all of his photos were famous. In 1949-1950, he made photos of a number of distinct models, but these were not shown to the public until 1980. On the other hand, some other photos were very famous. Which, you ask? For instance, he captured the Czech model Karolína Kurková for the cover of Vogue. Other well-known personalities that he immortalized were for instance Martha Graham, Marlene Dietrich, Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dalí.

Aside from the above, he also took luxurious still-life pictures which he then used to create abstract compositions. Among others, he worked with Czech photographer Jiří Poláček when making photos of skulls in the National Museum in Prague.

The 100-year anniversary of the birth of Irving Penn

The 100-year anniversary of the birth of this famous photographer is this year. From April to the end of July, his photos were available in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and now over 200 of his photos will be exhibited at the Grand Palais in Paris until the end of January.

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Irving Penn Foundation
55 Fifth Avenue 18th Floor New York, NY 10003 USA